Back in the day, before Microsoft realized the power of bloggers to create positive buzz about a product I often had to chime in on discussions about why it was important to take into consideration the opinions of the vocal minority in the blogosphere. One of the things folks like Robert Scoble and myself would point out is that mainstream reporters often get their stories from blogs these days. This means that if a product is getting a lot of good press among a few key blogs it eventually makes it into the mainstream media.
The best example of this I've seen in recent memory is the hype storm around Twitter. The tipping point in mainstream coverage of the service seems to have been when a bunch of bloggers who attended the SXSW conference started using the service. According to Google Trends interest has been increasing steadily in the service but mainstream coverage was lacking until after SXSW. Since then we've had articles like
Business Week: Twitter: All Trivia, All The Time
Wall Street Journal: Friends Swap Twitters, and Frustration
San Francisco Chronicle: Austin's SXSW festival atwitter over Twitter
With results like this, it is no wonder PR flacks of all sorts are circling blogs and other
antisocial media like groupies at a rock concert hoping to infect us with their disease message.