Whilst digging around at work today, I chanced upon this New Statesman piece on weblogs written in October 1999. A little ahead of the bell-curve, then. And what a last paragraph:

Blogs are never going to be big business and they’re not the future of the web, either. But I find that I visit them more and more because in the blogs you can still find that educated, anarchic spirit – rather as I imagine medieval universities to have been, full of wandering scholars – which once seemed the natural atmosphere of the whole World Wide Web.