Flying out to Las Vegas from D.C. yesterday (to speak at BlogWorld Expo) I found myself sitting next to Whitney Matheson, USA Today’s (hugely popular) pop culture blogger. Whitney’s Pop Candy, if you’re not familiar with it, is the paper’s most popular blog.

She covers the “indie” side of things which means her blog  “unwraps pop culture’s hip and hidden treasures,” according to the tagline. OK, so this blog is waaay cooler than People Magazine. (It’s up for the 2007 Weblog Award for Best Culture blog tonight.)

Whitney’s got a cold today and is feeling under the weather… so she’s only posted once so far. But not to worry, her fan base of thousands will do the talking for her. As of this writing, there are over 1,850 comments on today’s entry.

And the connection to corporate blogging is… how in heck do you cultivate a community of passionate, devoted (er, fanatic?) readers? Southwest Airlines’ blog (on my panel today at BlogWorld) is doing a good job at this.

But there is no exact formula. You have to fill a need. Whitney says her readers, who mostly have “boring, awful” jobs, tune into her blog several times a day. Listen to Whitney below: