Blogs and Forums Both powerful ways to build a loyal readership and repeat traffic to your site. While the underlying technology behind forums and blogs is virtually the same, each implementation is very much unique.
Blogs = I speak, you listen
Blogs are a "one-to-many" medium, with the website owner writing the majority of the posts, allowing users to submit comments.
Blogs are often created to build authority in your niche, demonstrating your wealth of experience and knowledge in the target area.
Things to consider: Since you, as the website owner, will be required to submit posts on a regular basis to keep the blog lively and keep visitors coming, it is important to choose a topic close to heart and plan on allocating a certain number of hours every day/week for writing new posts.
Ghostwriters and filler posts don't work well in a blog environment. "Your voice" needs to remain consistent as you continually strive to keep your readers eagerly expecting your next post.
Blogs are often personal, whereby the owner will identify by name, post pictures illustrating his/her experiences and brand him/her self as a top authority in the field.
Forums = Collaborate with others
Forums are a "many-to-many" medium, where individuals sharing passion for the same topic, discuss among each other, posting public posts, replying to each other and sharing information.
Forums are created around a specific niche, in an attempt to build a high number of members who will communicate with each other and keep the forum active.
In a typical forum, you'll have 10% of the members engaging in 100% of the discussions, with the remaining 90% "lurking", reading messages but not posting any new information.
Things to consider: Once you achieve a critical-mass of posts and members in a community, a snow-ball effect will help in continually growing the forum
, with your primary job duty being keeping things under control - deleting spam posts and banning aggressive members.
From an SEO perspective, forums are usually better traffic-generation tools. The high number of posts (each post being a complete HTML page), lends itself to a higher number of indexed pages and more organic traffic. Blogs are good tools providing you can position yourself as an industry leader and secure a loyal readership.
With both blogs and forums, you can post a comment and reply to other comments, thus developing discussions. In both cases, you can leave comments which may or may not be moderated and you may have to identify yourself with a name and email address.
There are many differences and have been summarized in the chart below.
|Main purpose||Creates a discussion on a particular topic by allowing commenting of posts.||Posting or the content is the main purpose, not the commenting.|
|Discussion requires many participants||Yes - forums are created for discussion between several people.||No - mainly designed for a single user input.|
|Control of content (Authoring of New Topics)||Decentralized, group.|
All members usually have the ability to create new topics.
Allows for more emergent and unpredictable directions that may reflect the group's desires as a whole.
New topics being presented by a defined and focused person or small group.
|Focus||More unfocused - many contributors contributing user-generated topics (a wider variety of content) with differing viewpoints.|
Forums tend to create much more content, and will pull in traffic on topics or phrases that never occurred to you.
|More focused as blogs are written and edited by a single author (or a small group).|
Replies tend to be directed more to the primary author.
|Intent||Group input, decision making, collaboration.|
Accumulates group input and facilitates collaboration and group decision making.
|Personal accounts, news, reflection.|
Trusted individuals provide accounts of events and information.
(order and presentation of topics)
|Posting of replies can govern the presentation of the originating topic.|
Topics with new replies are often presented at the top (but not always).
|Most recently posted topics at the top of the page, regardless of new comments.|
(How topics are archived and organized)
|Discussions often presented in multiple places across the online community and are archived independently.|
The member chooses the appropriate location to post a new topic, depending on subject matter.
Creates multiple “front pages”, spreading the presentation of new topics across different locations in the community.
|Topics are all presented on the weblog front page and then archived into categories.|
Each new topic is assigned to a category that is used to organize the topics for future reference.
|Message length||Many short messages.||Used more for posting longer messages.|
Participation is explicitly requested by the poster. A discussion is not a discussion without a reply.
The author does not need further participation to reach a goal - comment if you want.
|Personal connections||Broader look at a larger number of members as they interact with one another in a group setting.||Can allow online community members to develop personal connections with the webloggers relatively quickly.|
|Communicate directly with other forum members online through private messaging.||Yes||No|
|Show who's online at a given time||Yes||No|
|Provide statistical info, eg, how many comments posted over what period of time.||Yes||No|
|Notification whenever new or updated content is posted||No||Yes|
(off-topic or inappropriate topics (or responses)
|Must be managed closely to deal withspam or flames (see definitions below).|
Not able to turn off replies, but do prevent problems with moderation of each new topic or response.
|Can be unspammable or unflame-able by others without loss of primary value.|
Can turn-off comments.
|Ability to syndicate (republishing content from one site to another) content to anyone who wants to receive it .||No, content is more “private”||Yes, your content can appear on other blogs|
(see definitions below)
|Most forums have not integrated tools used in blogs||ability to read and link weblogs together. They include: Trackback,RSS, Aggregation, Permalinking, Cross linking|
- A system by which another website (usually another blog) is notified that their site has linked to it (usually within an article being posted). The objective is to notify the subject of an article that they have been mentioned in another article elsewhere. It allows a blogger to see who has seen the original post and has written another entry concerning it.
- RSS is a web content syndication format. The acronym stands for Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication. An RSS file (or “RSS feed”) is a text file that usually contains details about the most recent entries on a website. It doesn’t have any information about colours, fonts, layout, or any other graphical issues. It’s simply text in a standardised format. The purpose of RSS is to makes it easy for one website to include a list of headlines from another, a process known as “syndication.” The second use for an RSS file is so people can read entries, or parts of entries, in an RSS news reader. These are programs you run on your computer. You tell it the addresses of RSS files you are interested in and it downloads them. The program then displays the entry headlines, and maybe their content, regularly fetching the latest version of the RSS file. People use RSS news readers if they like to read lots of weblogs or news sites because it makes the process much quicker — the person no longer has to visit each site in turn, the latest entries are fetched automatically, and the lack of graphics makes the process much quicker. You can read more about RSS at www.webreference.com.
- An aggregator is a desktop or a Web application that can read and display several feeds in a single interface.
- A link to a specific article in the archives of a blog, which will remain valid after the article is no longer listed on the blog's front page (i.e after it has archived).
- 'Spam' is unsolicited online messages generally of a commercial nature, usually delivered as e-mail (i.e. virtual junk mail). Comment spam however is when someone posts off-topic commercial remarks with links in a blog's comment section.
- To 'flame' someone is to make a hostile intemperate remark, usually of a personal nature. A hostile exchange of views via the Internet characterised by highly intemperate language.
Source:- http://ezinearticles.com/?Forums-vs-Blogs&id=415052 and http://www.suestudios.com/articles/article23.htm