Independent blogging isn’t very important anymore, if it ever was. But what it invented — culling and synthesizing disparate pieces of information, engaging in the conversation, adding value and passing it on — is still a necessary function. Indeed, I think it grew out of the natural human desire for people to gather together and talk about the world at large (as opposed to their immediate personal lives)and a need for someone they trust to put the vast amount of information available on the internet in some context. We live in a social media world now and the way information is being exchanged is redefined on a daily basis. Whether old country bloggers like me are the ones to “curate” it or professional journalists do it isn’t as important as the fact that somebody who understands how to hold this conversation in a way that engages people does it.