A couple days ago I mused a bit cryptically about the impending convergence of blogs and social network software. For a much more lucid description of this trend and the forces behind it, see Conversations with Dina. (Thanks to Bill Ives for bringing Dina's insight to my attention.)
Dina ends her post by quoting another blogger, Lee Bryant, who posts at length about The Flight of Orkut. Lee ponders the hype about social network software and concludes that this technology has so far generated action only around its own devices and not in the greater social commons. In conclusion, Lee sends out a plea for a good case study:
"If we are to convince the next wave of organizations and users to engage with this stuff, then we need to build on this experience and show some compelling real-world examples of online social networking in action, rather than social networking for its own sake."
Joe Trippi's The Revolution Will Not Be Televised reads like a perfect answer to this plea for real-world examples; it's a story of hundreds of thousands of Americans raised off their butts by Internet-driven social networking. And it's worth noting that Trippi credits blogs specifically, not e-mail and not Orkut or some other pre-packaged social networking system, as the fundamental technology that made it all possible.