Twitter is the new way of blogging for those who only blogged to spread links or "funny" stuff. It can (and probably will) never be a replacement for blogs. You just can't put too much of a story into 140 characters. Maybe the number of "click these links to see something reeeaaaaally funny" decreased because of Twitter. I don't miss them.
I agree. Offloading linkblogs onto an equally shallow platform designed for such a thing is an overall Good Thing.
I find the rise of twitter and the decline of blogging sad.. It seems like the amount of aggregate writing on the web is staying constant, we're just now getting a lot more one-line off-the-cuff throwaway comments, and less thoughtful considered commentary.
I'll put forward that this might also be a good thing, there's very little on the internet that's actually worth commenting on, or carrying forth on. Take this article, for instance. I'm spending about three minutes or so replying to this post of yours and this article. Neither my nor your lives are very enriched by this exercise, and these minutes basically contribute nothing to my life or my understanding of anything important. Now, let's say I actually took half an hour to read the article, think about it, then write a long, conversational piece about it, in other words, blog about it. For the most part, this isn't a very enriching exercise for anyone either, I'd just be spinning my intellectual wheels. In fact, I'd be much better off studying and chewing on Shakespeare, and giving that a few hours, days, or years of thought, and then writing about that. So, these minutes I'm using would be better put to use analyzing even a tiny portion of something much more enriching to you and me.
Diffusing serious critical bloggery into little Twitter droplets doesn't result in much of a long-term loss, because most lengthy blogging is fleeting in meaning anyway. I follow dozens of blogs, read a few of them, then instantly forget about them. This doesn't happen when I read a good book and really pay attention to it.
Speaking for myself, if I blog at all, it's very often me avoiding actual hardcore thought and more enjoying the sensation of having written something, anything. It's close enough to Twitter already that if I went ahead and joined the ranks of Twitter Nation, it wouldn't be that much of a loss.
So, let's see those great steampunk pics, youtube videos, and half-baked nutritional breakthroughs. You can still talk about Foucoult's Pendulum or whatever if you want to, but it's not like you were going to anyway.