Sunday, February 24, 2013

Blogs and Forums are two views of the same information...

Because of a recent post by the Red Gypsy Blog I have started to consider what type of information I put in each of my internet locations(Blogs, facebook, twitter, etc...). Then I got me thinking of how some of these services, like Blogs, are designed primarily promote one's self, but at the same time promote conversation. And other services like forums are designed primarily for promoting discussion and secondarily to promote one's self. But in all actuality the two structures are the same!

I post in the forum to create a topic
Others can comment on that topic

I post on my blog, to create a post
Others can comment on that post

Forums are a way to organize topics and conversations based on the content.
Blogs are a way to organize topics and conversations based on who originated the topic.

Same thing really, the difference becomes how people find it. If I am searched for on the internet, my blog posts will be found, but probably not my forum posts. Honestly though, some of the most interesting things I say online are in forums. Often my blog is just a reformatted version of what I state in forums.

I envision a technological solution: Forums that are linked to personal blogs.

I go to a forum and post there to create a topic. People comment on the topic, a discussion ensues.
The forum topic automatically posts into my blog as a blog post, and the forum discussion populates as the comments in the blog.

This would allow many people to converse together in a comfortable forum situation while simultaneously be promoting their ideas on a personal blog space.

To take this idea further, we don't really need to make a distinction between blogs and forums, it is the same structure, it is just a matter of how we organize and display the same underlying information. The more I think about it the more I realize that the current system developed from logical beginnings, but has become inefficient.

Has this idea been explored already? Is there a way to view a multitude of blogs within a forum structure?


  1. Brandon L. SichlingFebruary 24, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    Maybe what we need is some sort of electronic portfolio. Wouldn't it be great if everything we wrote, the videos scattered throughout youtube and vimeo, the photos on instagram and flickr, all lived in one place.
    And! if you have generated enough content, maybe it would provide a way to publish it. For instance, enough blog posts could be turned into a kindle book. It wouldn't be necessary, but I like the legitimacy publishing brings. The flip side would be figuring out some way to monetize the work, and maybe this netfolio (that one's free) could perform that service.
    Mostly, I want money for all this neat stuff I'm doing.

  2. Yes, I do like the idea of a personal web aggregator. I am building my website around that exact idea, and I think that is going to be much of the focus of personal websites in the future. That really is the beauty of "embed" I can embed soundcloud playlists, youtube playlists, vimeo videos etc... all in a single place.

    Interesting idea about publishing what you have created automatically. Monetization, that is tricky, advertisements are the first obvious choice. If you can have a personal ad "agency" that is allowed to put their ads next to all your work then you could be paid directly from them for all the screen time people spend on your content.

    Oh, just checked, is taken! damn...

  3. Its interesting that you brought up the point of interconnected blogs. I have seen this difference myself and have been a bit frustrated by it. I have also noticed that some blogs today have linked its comments to Facebook profiles. In this way, we have started this electrite portfolio that Brandon has mentioned. What I find interesting about forums is that in certain situations, blogs are only available to a limited group, with a particular skill set. The RED user forum for example requires that you own a red product, or work with the equipment in a larger capacity (rental house, technician, 3rd party accessory manufacturer) Doing this ensures that the forum environment maintains a particular intellectual level. I think this is a good and bad thing. Its good because the forums stay concise and intellectually stimulating, but it prevents people from finding this information easily. So, its a catch 22.

  4. Interesting point, I hadn't considered the similar structure between forums and blogs. Personally I think the difference between forums and blogs is a little more pronounced based on my usage (I read but rarely post in either.)

    I use forums that are specific to an industry or interest. I'm aware of a few tech forums that are only open to members who own certain brand of equipment or are part of a certain industry. Personally, I only look to forums to answer technology or workflow questions. Information about equipment I'm looking to buy, file types, etc. In my mind forums seem to be direct and to the point, I get the information I need and move on.

    Blogs are less technical. They contain more personality and creative writing. There is an element of customization. In terms of a blog, (depending on it's function or theme) one might want to put some emphasis on fonts, colors, pictures etc. I generally look to blogs for new photo projects or video work.