Juan Cole on The Blogging Phenomenon, and speculation from Steven Levy and Jeff Jarvis.
Who knows English in the Middle East? Usually young men from wealthy or at least middle class families. They are disproportionately likely to favor capitalist, unregulated markets, to be secular in their outlook, and to be pro-Western. I.e., the views of many (not all) Western-educated Middle-Easterners are almost the complete opposite of most other Middle Easterners. You have to know something about the Middle East to know something about Middle Eastern bloggers in their own context.