I read things like this, and I become sad. Several years ago I had this exact idea. I was the project manager for the SEDS @ UCF Chapter (Students for the Exploration and Development of Space at the University of Central Florida). I was the Project Manager for 3 years before graduating and moving to Houston. I still chat with my fellow SEDS peeps, and am going to the SEDS National Conference in 2 weeks to be a speaker there. Anyway, back to the point...
One of my ideas was MAARV, the Martian Automated Ariel Reconnaissance Vehicle, basically a Martian Blimp! So what do I find today, but an article on wired.com talking about THAT very idea! Argh! As a college student, albeit one that was older than the average by a good 10 years, you never have a voice strong enough to pull significant weight. Double road blocks hindered MAARV progress for me then: Professors who were too busy to care and SEDS members who didn't jump on the idea.
Well, how do you like the idea now?
Addition after I originally posted this: Make no mistake, I do love the idea and I hope it actually comes to pass. I think low latitude, versatile blimps would be great scouts for Mars, cover much more terrain than a rover and could be loaded with ground penetrating radar to see what's really under the surface.
I have many other ideas, and with my book and who knows what will come of that, maybe I can spearhead those into becoming reality. :) Gotta make your own way in this world, which I am working hard to do. :)