Came across this on Mathemagenic.
The following is an excerpt of remarks by Bill Gates that addresses the value of blogs over e-mail for certain business processes:
And so, getting away from the drawbacks of e-mail — that it’s too imposing — and yet the drawbacks of the Web site — that you don’t know if there’s something new and interesting there — this is about solving that.
The ultimate idea is that you should get the information you want when you want it, and we’re progressively getting better and better at that by watching your behavior, ranking things in different ways.
The book Power to the Edge (.pdf file), published by the Department of Defense Command and Control Research Program (DoD CCRP), presents an analysis of this situation in the context of Network Centric Operations.
E-mail is essentially a “smart smart push” method of distributing information. The owner of the information must know who is or might be interested in the information (the first smart) and then must know how to contact those people in order to share the information (the second smart). The owner then must “push” the information out to each of the people previously identified.
Blogs and RSS are an example of a “post and smart pull” method of information distribution. The information owner posts the information in a blog. In a corporate environment, for instance, the existence and purpose of the blog would be (hopefully) well known, allowing the people who are interested to subscribe to be notified when changes are made (that’s the smart part of the pull) and then review in detail the info they are interested in.