It was kinda weird having brad come down to the office to a meeting where I sorta represented both Google and LiveJournal. But, as I've said before, a large part of why I came here was to get out of the "blogging scene", and I was mostly invited to that meeting because the Blogger guys know that Brad's an old friend of mine.
Last night I was hanging out with Chad and his girlfriend, who's in her late 20s (I assume) and teaches art at a local community college. Chad mentioned something being on a friend's blog and she asked, "What does that word mean?" Here we have a sociable, intelligent 20something who lives in San Francisco who doesn't know what blogging is -- what, you ask? But the truth is this online world is a tiny echo chamber, and while it's certainly an important subset, there's a lot more to the internet.
This isn't to minimize the blog search team's work -- there are many great things to be done with even smaller data sets. (Consider Wikipedia.) But to me this doesn't seem like a monumental change, but rather an incremental and logical step.