The exchange of views promoted by blogs is indeed a growing phenomenon. One story on the Guardian site during last November's US election triggered 800 comments. In addition, blogs often generate ideas for the editorial team, and the Guardian has recruited writers for the newspaper based on their accurate and well-written comments for the site's blogs.
There you have it: two clear examples of a blog feeding into the core business of a media company. If a company's assets are largely comprised of intangibles like its staff, then finding a ready source of writers and stories is going to be important for a newspaper.
But will this apply elsewhere? I can't see why not. Take a software developer - Shel Israel and Robert Scoble have been showing at The Red Couch how Microsoft is learning from blogs and their readers about how customers use their software.
Naturally, though, it will be businesses that interact regularly with customers through media (so the media, communications, technology and entertainment sectors) that most immediately could see scope. With podcasting taking off, who's to say radio won't be recruiting from the podcasters next?