D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

Blogs = Forums 2.0?

Friday, January 4, 2008 12:15 PM

Something struck me over the last few days. If you follow my blog, you'll notice that I've been in a discussion around Sub Sonic and its ability to act as a standalone DAL (for all the gritty details, see this and this).

My original post came out of frustration that I couldn't find anything online that satisfied my question. I Googled, checked forums, and gazed on the online tutorials...but still, nothing. So...I posted a blog entry of my own.

Within a matter of days I not only had multiple people weigh in on the discussion, but also had someone do up a tutorial and had the product founder post comments as well...and all I did...was post a blog entry.

Think about that: I could have posted something in the forums, but would I have gotten that same breadth of exposure? Do all the people who read my blog post troll through the product forums, or are they simply Googling, or is it that they read the main feed of my online community and happened accross? Regardless, I've come to a realization: Blogs have the potential to become the next iteration of the online forum. In many aspects, they already are.

Why would I go through the process of having to register with a forum (which means another username and password to remember, and another URL for me to go to to check posts on, and the annoying process of having to search through forum topics with a token search engine that looks for words in the title) when our own blogs *become* the forum? Why wouldn't I want to host my own questions within my blog which I have control over, which I have a record of, which I don't have to worry about the history being wiped away in a freak accident or if the community I'm posting to dies?

Now, before the haters jump on this, this is *not* a critique of the Sub Sonic forums...I'm talking forums in general here: I have the same issues finding information about my Rav4 block heater on the Toyota forums, or looking up a recipe that my wife swears she saw on the Epicure Yahoo group, or trolling through the ASP.NET message boards, etc.

How kewl would it be if instead of a "forum" we created a "community" instead. GeeksWithBlogs is an excellent display of that, where you have people not just asking questions but contributing answers as well. Utilizing tagging means that there's more ability to find what you're looking for beyond the WYSIWYG forum administration and search screens.

Anyway, that's my thoughts as I finish my Subway club and my Starbucks skinny cafe mocha (which btw has a weird taste...I think I'll stick to the sugared syrup). What do you think?

D

 




Feedback

# re: Blogs = Forums 2.0?

I don't think blogs can really move forward until it becomes easy to be notified of replies and new comments to blog posts you're watching or have replied to.

Right now, with the way that they are, blogs have limited conversations consisting of the blogger and a few commenters that might come back for a little bit but then forget that they were participating in the conversation.

I was trying CoComment for a while to see if that would help me out personally, but I could never get it to work right and really, until everyone was using it, the problem still persists.

It's too hard to maintain a conversation in a blog until you can subscribe to posts and comments.
That's where forums are still superior to blog posts. They encourage and remind you of the conversation you were having.

1/4/2008 12:23 PM | George W. Clingerman

# re: Blogs = Forums 2.0?

I agree with George, with the addition that some blogs support CommentRSS for tracking replies. Unfortunately, it still means you have to remember to actually subscribe to it (and likely remember to unsubscribe when the conversation dies down). And of course, like CoComment, it's not universally supported.

On the skinny mocha. You're not alone in your opinion. 1/4/2008 5:01 PM | Kent Sharkey

# re: Blogs = Forums 2.0?

"Community"

You've hit upon the entire reason I blog.
1/4/2008 9:04 PM | Justice~!

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