It dawned on me only a few days ago that a weblog is the most powerful tool available to a single individual. I am basing this on the fact that it provides almost unlimited multiplication of effort.
Through a weblog, a single individual can be connected to and can affect an almost unlimited number of other individuals. Yes, I am familiar with the power law distribution of readers to weblogs, but from a practical standpoint, your audience is limited only by the power of your intellect.
If you use it, and build with it, they will come.
If you understand communication in all of its aspects, you can reach any audience you choose given enough time.
If you understand branding, you can hold your audience and make it grow. Creating a weblog as a portal to other sites opens a whole new vista of ecommerce possibilities.
If you understand art, you will know how aesthetics can be used as the carrier wave for creating an emotional response and conveying information.
If you understand emotional tone levels and how they affect the receipt and comprehension of information, you will be able to communicate truth at a level which can be understood and accepted by your chosen audience.
There are millions of weblogs today, but how many are reaching out and consciously producing an emotional response on a continuing basis? Yet, the interactivity of weblogs makes them an ideal vehicle for all sorts of artistic and motivational activity.
At the same time, they have become outlets for all kinds of painful emotions. It could be even be said, with some truth, that a vast number of weblogs have become part of the largest, unmoderated group therapy session in history.
My positioning of weblog as the ultimate tool is shaped by my engineering/design/marketing background. The investment is minimal and the rewards are whatever you choose to make them. There are some who are already using this concept to build careers for themselves and others.
Rebecca Blood has written a Weblog Handbook which provides an excellent perspective on several areas: the weblog community, useful strategies to employ, and vital information on weblog etiquette and ethics. If you haven't read it, you should, even though it positions the weblog primarily as an outlet for writers and as a means for disseminating information.
However, in the afterword to her handbook she says, "I love seeing people apply the weblog concept in ways I don't expect."
I think there will be many people employing weblogs as tools in the future, but this course of action can be addictive. Weblog activity should be pursued cautiously or you might experience the Top 10 Dangers of Living in the Blog Space.