elearnspace makes an important observation about participation with respect to the sharable book-marking tools out there in Furl instead of blog:
One of the complaints often directed at blogging is that not everyone is a blogger - not everyone has the interest, time or the skills to write for others.
While glancing through Furl's Popular List , I realized how effective it could be as a learning tool. Anyone can use Furl (it simply stores a copy of a webpage in your user folder, so pages aren't lost or links broken). Making connections is a knowledge era skill. Imagine a group of 25 students subscribing to each others online topics of interest (Furl folders can be public or private)...gaining insight into what other classmates found interesting enough to keep.
There are several other services that let you both keep your bookmarks in a public place AND share those with other people. The interesting ones have begun developing folksonomies (home-spun taxonomies) so that people can follow whole categories and find interesting new materials that way.
The ability to participate at a different level has got to help those people who perceive that they don't have as much to add. It extends the modes of participation beyond read and write to a new dimension that leaves a trail of your interests and inclinations without requiring that you say anything about it. I wonder how this could be applied in communities and teams within corporations or other virtual organizations.