While I have many blogging friends who are geographically close, I would say I have an equal number who are dispursed accross the globe. I have never met Parableman, but I think he is someone I admire, respect and occationally ask for advise.
My oldest daughter uses LiveJournal. I think the design of LiveJournal is built on friends you already know. From reading my daughter's blog and her friends, it seems to be a type of blogging plateform that is more focused on social networking. And that is fine. Other blogs are more focused on content creation. It even seems that there are some blogs out there that are written with no social purpose in mind.
LiveJournal is great, but this study should not be centered on this one blogging platform.
Bloggers Make Buddies Close to Home in a Small Online World: "In a recent study, scientists observed members of the online community LiveJournal.com, to track how relationships form in cyberspace. The researchers found that, even with the world at their fingertips, most users tend to select friends from their own geographical areas."