I'm really glad you raised this because it's perfect, since the site is making other major changes.
When the site began in March, it consisted of a review, a couple of columns, some software, and a forum waiting for visitors. This made the blogs so important that they were expected to change daily. Things have changed dramatically since then. The forum is dynamic and a "must read." The blogs are sporadic and probably suffering from lack of readership and blogger exhaustion. The comments aren't widely circulated and, after a few times clicking on "latest blog" to find I have already read it, that feature is easy to forget -- in spite of some excellent columns.
So..I think we could do without something called a "blog" (which may be an outmoded term anyway), and settle on a compromise. Here are a couple of suggestions to get the conversation going:
1. Relieve the current columnists from any commitments they have made to provide regular blogs.
2. Continue to provide some kind of special space for larger writings, such as reviews, how-to-do-something, how-I-did-something, what-to-avoid, latest thinking on a subject, etc. Then have an announcement of it on the forum, including a thread for comments and continuing discussion (not at the bottom of the column).
3. These larger writings would come on inspiration, and not obligation. We all know how easy it is to respond to a request, or continue with a conversation, with a full exploration -- no matter how long it takes. Yet, how very hard it is -- and time-consuming -- to deliver on a promise to write something by a deadline.
4. By continuing something special (no ideas on what it should be called), you could continue to archive the comments, as you do now with the blog columns. There have been some very memorable blogs, which are great to be able to recall now and then. It would be a shame to lose this (yes, I know, there have been memorable forum posts, too, but that's another story).
At least two problems I see with this, though:
1. Probably this feature should be open to other users, in addition to the current regulars. There should be some criteria developed for this, though, in order to keep it special and appropriate for the feature. At the very least, this feature should only be open to members. In addition, perhaps proposed columns should be passed on by the administrator before posting?
2. Right now, the columnists have the possibility (however remote) of getting donations for their writing. Could that still be available?