First lets understand the differences. A forum, or discussion board, can be described as an application of user generated content. More generally a forum is usually used when a developer wants to create an environment for a specific target of people. This target could include those who enjoy certain games, those with similar backgrounds, hobbies, or simply those who want to discuss anything. Forums have been around longer and still make up the majority of user driven content sites, and this is because a users discussion has the opportunity to be as important as a moderator or admins comments.
A blog, or web log, is a more geared toward an individual. The operator’s commentary or descriptions of events is usually the main point of the site. A blog does have the option to leave comments, however those who leave comments are usually random people. There are no bonds usually between those commenting on the same blog, while in a forum, many registered users form strong bonds, good and bad.
Blog’s Gaining Popularity?
A blog would be a regular web site if there were no comments enabled and pages were not linked by tags. However because people can comment your site encourages user interaction greatly over a regular web site. The reason blog’s have become so popular is because they have been made simple to create. Most major hosting companies now-a-days have a simple, one click, create a blog button. This will install applications like WordPress and default designs and your ready to post. You no longer are required to know web development to create a popular web site.
Forums have Ultimate User Interaction…
You may be wondering if user interaction is important than why not use a forum. Simply put, the operator wants his/her ideas to be valued higher, and to be the spotlight of the web site. A forum gives users the ability to add new threads, new content, to have their idea as the first idea, meaning the main idea to discuss. Also a forum with no users looks dead, there are usually not a lot of pictures in a forum, and is not set up to be a regular site. A blog with no comments, looks like a regular site. It is quite true however a forum will cause a lot more traffic to a site, especially repeat traffic, with it’s increased user interaction.
So… Use a Blog or Use a Forum ?
Well what kind of environment do you have? If you are looking to create an environment well the goal is information, the sharing of information, and creating relationships with those with like interests, a forum is the only option. If you are creating a site to host your own articles and simply would like comments on the articles, obviously a blog will work best.
Business Sites: Use a blog. Most sites are up for practical purposes. ie to represent your business, to sell a product, are to inform with news. These sites should all use a blog and not a forum. A services business does not have the time to create an online environment nor does it have the need, they need to list services, list announcements, and maybe some short help articles where comments are usually used as public testimonials. The majority of sites are these more practical, business related sites, and therefore are one of the major reasons blogs have become so popular. The trend looks like that is the route it will continue on as well. Heck we have a “blog,” we just don’t like to call it that.
Tags: World Web News