Tom Zeller (in the NYT) thinks bloggers only have much influence to decide what's news when they get their hands on a smoking gun. Thus, Rathergate made bloggers look powerful, but it was really only because of that uniquely bloggable fake document.
So bloggers buzz, but only in that drudgy droning way. We're good for poring over documents -- detail work. The big shaping ideas and sharp insights must come from somewhere else. NYT columnists, probably.
Zeller is reacting to "Buzz, Blogs and Beyond" ("published last week by the Pew Internet and American Life Project and the market research firm BuzzMetrics"), which figured out a way to measure the influence of bloggers on the news agenda.
Is anyone counting the number of articles in the NYT that assert that bloggers aren't as influential as you might think? They can't stop looking at us and talking about us, but they always conclude that we aren't really worth much.