They aren't much different from my impressions after six months; in particular:
The quality of discussion and commentary in the blogosphere is neither better nor worse than in the public culture generally. Just as in the public culture, you can locate alternative points of view that have intellectual substance, so too, you can do the same in the blogosphere. The blogosphere has not made any advance on this score over the mere fact of the Internet making it possible, e.g., to get to Znet or TomDispatch, with ease from your home or office computer.
I thus disagree with Dick Posner's romantic (indeed, fanciful) view of the blogosphere, which I'll discuss probably on Friday. In fact, the blogosphere mostly exacerbates the worst tendencies of the "mainstream media" that some bloggers love to critique: factual inaccuracy, analytical confusions, moral parochialism, deference to power, and so on.
The blog has proved an effective way to circulate ideas in which I'm actually invested intellectually--such as my views on American Legal Realism, or Dworkin, or Marx. I have been able to reach worthy readers whom I otherwise would have missed. I thank them for their interest in my ideas.
That's really been the best part about the blog: what I most care about is my scholarly work, and it's great to have an easy way (with some help from SSRN!) to get this work into circulation.
On the downside:
"The less they know the less they know it" (a finding of empirical psychology) and "You can't talk to the ignorant about lies, because they have no criteria" (Ezra Pound) are still the order of the day in the blogosphere generally. I've tried to adopt the policy of no longer linking to the hopeless cases, especially since the blogopaths among them seem to crave the attention.
It is slightly incredible (but, admittedly, also rather amusing) to be denounced as "irrational" and "stupid" by noxious mediocrities who populate the intellectual backwaters of the blogosphere. In the first few months of blogging, I made the error of acknowledging their existence and responding to their "arguments" [sic], but it became clear quickly this was not a useful expenditure of anyone's time.
Of course, every now and then I still succumb to the temptation to comment on these noxious mediocrities, but I try to pick cases which are illustrative of some broader tendency or confusion.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly,
The blogosphere has the virtue and vice of a genuine democracy: everyone can be heard, and distinctions of rank (competence, qualifications, etc.) do not matter.
All the historical arguments for and against democracy win support from what goes on in the blogosphere every day.