I remember an ad campaign from many years ago that used to proclaim long distance as ‘the next best thing to being there’ – pre-fibre optics.
I think the same epithet could be used to describe blogging and social media (except without the exhorbitant rates and busy signals).
For instance, you don’t have to call someone, wait for them to get back, wonder if enough time has elapsed so you can try again. You just start writing/talking and see who jumps in.
You can discover interesting tidbits of gossip and news (especially who’s feuding with whom).
You can add your two-cents and, by rewriting, make sure you’re saying exactly what you want to.
And your ear doesn’t get too hot (unless someone slags you in an unfavourable post).
I actually do think one of blogging’s greatest benefits is being able to tune in and keep track of what friends and colleagues are thinking about whenever and where ever you are and take part in an entropic, provocative and entertaining long-distance dialogue.
I also like the element of surprise: and you never know who might find you… or when.