We study the dynamics of information propagation in environments of low-overhead personal publishing, using a large collection of weblogs over time as our example domain. We characterize and model this collection at two levels. First, we present a macroscopic characterization of topic propagation through our corpus, formalizing the notion of long-running "chatter" topics consisting recursively of "spike" topics generated by outside world events, or more rarely, by resonances within the community. Second, we present a microscopic characterization of propagation from individual to individual, drawing on the theory of infectious diseases to model the flow. We propose, validate, and employ an algorithm to induce the underlying propagation network from a sequence of posts, and report on the results.