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Difference between Blogs and Forums

Grover

Well-known member
#1
This question is also related to a future XenForo (which hopefully will support integrated Blogs).

Just spoke to my girlfriend on the phone (interesting info, Grover ;)) and I explained to her which plans I had with a new to build community platform. So I talked about webforums and blogs and all of that and then she asked *the* question:

What is the difference between Blogs (which you can comment on ~Ed.) and Forums?

To my horror :oops:, I wasn't able to explain it. Said something like: 'hmrlll (<--- this was a key phrase)... forums are meant to be discussions and the focus of a blog is more on the article itself, where people can comment on, but not to delve so much into discussion'.

I mean, come on :eek:!

So, who helps me out on this? When you look at vBulletin for example you have integrated blogs. What is the big difference between posting a blog where people can comment on or posting a thread where people can comment on? I find myself asking this very question still to myself as well, also because the Blogs on my vB3.8 powered website are not much of a success, to say the least.

I need enlightenment.
 

Dean

Well-known member
#2
Are you asking me? :p

Blogs emphasize the first 'post' written which is almost always more prominently displayed. Which creates a one-to-many atmosphere, vs the peer-to-peer atmosphere in a forum.

In practice, blogs are not created, nor commented on, as often as forums. As such, they are not visited as often, no one sits in front of someones blog and clicks refresh expecting new content (compared to forums). Because of that change in update frequency on blogs (even if comments are included) there needs to be a way to 'Alert' people, as opposed to relying on people to visit 'Joes blog' on a daily basis.

Can Blogs be stored in a thread? Sure. I have subforums where only certain people can start threads, which is sort of like a blog.
 
#3
Forums comments on the person above you whereas a blog you comment on the article at hand igonoring anything that another user may have posted.
 
#4
Forums comments on the person above you whereas a blog you comment on the article at hand igonoring anything that another user may have posted.
It's actually not uncommon to see blog comments evolve into a discussion between the commenters and not just responses to the main entry.

Blogs emphasize the first 'post' written which is almost always more prominently displayed. Which creates a one-to-many atmosphere, vs the peer-to-peer atmosphere in a forum.

In practice, blogs are not created, nor commented on, as often as forums. As such, they are not visited as often, no one sits in front of someones blog and clicks refresh expecting new content (compared to forums). Because of that change in update frequency on blogs (even if comments are included) there needs to be a way to 'Alert' people, as opposed to relying on people to visit 'Joes blog' on a daily basis.
Your frequency and alert comments are very good. +1
 

Dean

Well-known member
#7
Can Blogs be stored in a thread? Sure. I have subforums where only certain people can start threads, which is sort of like a blog.
The "Have you seen" forum is set up like this. I cannot create a new thread, but can post in existing threads. The result (in my opinion) is that new threads are created far less often and are more important threads in the other subforums.
 

Shamil

Well-known member
#8
A blog is more centralised on the content of that post. A forum is more based on the communication between that poster, and other community members.
 

GofD

Well-known member
#9
Which creates a one-to-many atmosphere, vs the peer-to-peer atmosphere in a forum.
That's the biggest thing. A blog is a one-way conversation for the most part (although commenters do sometimes get into discussions on heavily frequented blogs) whereas a forum is based on the idea of equality amongst posters.

When we first started out, our site was more of a blog format, but I couldn't answer all the questions coming at me from random people on the internet (who had an inexplicable sense of entitlement to rapid, complete and accurate answers :confused:). So I opened the forums and figured they'd talk amongst themselves - they did. ;) Blog posts (now in Wordpress on the homepage) became more 'informational articles,' while the forums handle the questions and answers. We also have vBlog (hate it) where individual members post their personal 'journals.'
 

Jethro

Well-known member
#10
Blogs are web logs, someone's take on whatever they are talking about, whereas forums allow for more of a conversation. For example, just posted my short review of the dismal performance of the Magpies v Tasman in this weekend's ITM matchup on my blog, and am currently on a forum where the topic has evolved into a heated debate about the structure of the ITM rather than the game.

Integrated blogs tend not to work in forums imho, but tend to work as separate entities with bridges between the software.

Our strategy is to use Wordpress as a news service and Xen as a background discussion of whatever strikes people's fancy which may or may not include news published via Wordpress.
 

Tigratrus

Well-known member
#11
::nods::

I'd like better integration to spawn discussion threads in the forums for site (WP) blog posts too. I know Jafo's bridge does some of this stuff now, but I'd like it more flexible and easy to use so that you can spawn a thread or not as seems appropriate. If someone comments on a blog post though it should spawn a thread in the relevant forum (if there isn't one), which would spark community interaction. This would require the ability to select a relevant forum when creating the WP post.

Looking at the possibility of multi-user, I'd like to have a designated forum (say "Project Blogs") that is designated to hold all discussion threads for member WP blogs with each post spawning a new thread with a scripted title (concatenation of [Member]'s [Blog Title] entry: [post title] or something similar). Lots of potential.

One nice thing about having the member blogs in WP 3.x is that you could feed them to the home page for good content, haven't played with the interface enough to know how much you can do with controling a balance between a primary site blog and member blogs in WP 3, but I'm sure there's available tools :cool:.
 

gordy

Well-known member
#12
Blogs generally are started by a single user? Yes, there are many multi-user blogs, but the original spirit , I believe, was for an author(s) to make a post and leave it open for commentary.. kind of a forum/bulletin board of one member/team :confused:

blog, a bully pulpit
forum, a pub
 

erich37

Well-known member
#14
the following is what a friend of mine was saying about Forums and Blogs:

----------------------------

in community organisations a forum is a face-to-face meeting of different service providers, and in business an online forum is seen as a bunch of people talking constantly about nothing on the Internet, ie., not much real use in terms of serious networking and increasing profits.
Blogs are perceived as even worse: people blathering on and on about nothing of much interest to the world because they haven’t anything better to do, and love to see themselves racking up the page count and traffic day by day.

Developers are producing highly complex helicopters, while what most people really want are bog-standard 4-gear cars. Some are even happy with a horse and cart! I guess the trick is to produce the complex helicopter, but make it so simple to fly that all you need is a steering wheel and 4 gears.

----------------------------
 

Grover

Well-known member
#16
the following is what a friend of mine was saying about Forums and Blogs:

----------------------------

in community organisations a forum is a face-to-face meeting of different service providers, and in business an online forum is seen as a bunch of people talking constantly about nothing on the Internet, ie., not much real use in terms of serious networking and increasing profits.
Blogs are perceived as even worse: people blathering on and on about nothing of much interest to the world because they haven’t anything better to do, and love to see themselves racking up the page count and traffic day by day.
----------------------------
With all due respect, but your friend might need a reality-check. In other words: I completely disagree with everything he is saying: the reality is obviously so different as he is picturing it. 'Not much real use in terms of serious networking?'. Uhh... my site consists of a forum only and this forum alone is responsible for the 5 million hits per month we receive... people are interacting/communicating all the time. This IS serious networking! Oh and having such an enormous amount of traffic, combined with an unique subject matter... DOES attract advertisers. We are making money now.
 

erich37

Well-known member
#18
With all due respect, but your friend might need a reality-check. In other words: I completely disagree with everything he is saying: the reality is obviously so different as he is picturing it. 'Not much real use in terms of serious networking?'. Uhh... my site consists of a forum only and this forum alone is responsible for the 5 million hits per month we receive... people are interacting/communicating all the time. This IS serious networking! Oh and having such an enormous amount of traffic, combined with an unique subject matter... DOES attract advertisers. We are making money now.
good to hear that running a Forum can be successful !

My friend seems to have been a bit depressed when writing those lines :confused:
 

Jethro

Well-known member
#19
Tell your friend he should stick to trying to explain only things he knows something about. For he is dead wrong.
Without sparking a debate, famous last words, aren't blogs viewed currently as viable business tools? - i.e a lot of commercial sites run blogs. Similar to the take up of twitter, facebook, insert the latest web trend. However excellent analogy between the helicopter and car wouldn't you say.