Kottke wrote a post called A whole new internet? (kottke.org) and basically said that the business of creation on the internet, in many places, is getting in the way of creation itself--that the people that were once community and discussion leaders, like Mena Trott (or rather, anyone fitting a Mena-like profile), are now too busy making businesses out of tools to contribute to the community in the same way. Mena responded here.
I'm sure it was a lot of fun when today's doers were doing things out of their basements and they had the time to be the leading voices. But, you can't do that forever. Things change... and they change for the better. Would Six Apart, or blogging in general, be better of Ben and Mena were still coding out of their house? Same thing with Joshua Schachter. Would del.icio.us be better off if Joshua continued working a fulltime job and then slaving away late at night and on weekends building this great service? No way! Truth is, a little more in the way of resources and organization can do great things for a grassroots, individual effort. Its not the solution for everyone, but it works in many situations when done right. Maybe the niche little tech community loses a voice to a bit of distraction, but the whole non-bleeding edge community gains as a result, and their feedback, their voices, and their insight are just as valuable as anyone elses. The Mena-likes are not contributing less now because they blog less, they're contributing MORE with their deeds. It reminds me of when people say that you're not successful if you're only a teacher. To me, if you've enabled the minds of others, you've used your own mind in a very positive and productive way.