What separates a blog and a forum? It’s not as simple of an answer as it was just a few years ago.
Forums have long been making use of RSS feeds and some have even adopted more blog-like layouts. Now many forum applications have begun sending pingbacks and trackbacks to articles linked in posts, an activity that began and, previously was limited to, blogs.
However, blogs have also begun to become more and more forum-like. Though comments have always been a major part of blogging, many are also encouraging original submissions. They are also placing a heavier emphasis on comments and services such as Disqus and Intense Debate provide greater commenter identity and cross-site accounts.
In short, where forums have been pulling from the playbook of blogs in their newest features, blogs have been gradually becoming more community-oriented, turning away from the author-oriented approach they are often associated with.
This has had the effect of blurring the lines between the two and confusing many who are building new sites.
To help make sense of it, I decided to turn to my long-time friend, podcast co-host and all-around community expert Patrick O’Keefe in hopes he could provide some insights into their similarities and differences as well as help sites decide which format is right for them. [Read more…]