The other day, Techdirt had a great post about the use of blogs in the world of academia. Specifically, it discussed how blogs can be a great method for academics to publish these papers. For the most part, no one reads academic papers. The common person has to have either access to a full library, or at the very least a publication-specific search engine in order to even find them.
Blogs lower these barriers, and make academic papers much more accessible.
Any argument about a lack of review is invalid. Although it might be the wiki-fication of the academic world, publishing a paper on a blog will result in just as much peer review (if not more) by way of comments and link backs than publishing it in an academic journal.
Espen's paper, published here a month or so ago, is just such proof of this. He has benefited a great deal from the various comments and e-mails he has received from readers. Although his Masters degree is now finished, he can still make use of these comments and what he has learned from them should he choose to write another paper on the same topic. Subsequent researchers will also be able to use not only Espen's original paper, but the comments as well.