Are blogs really much different from message boards? Yes – and many bloggers can tell you why. Lee Lefever gives us a run down of the main differences between blogs and message boards:
• A blog post says “Here it is, dig it”
• A message board post says “your turn”
• Comment implies “if you want, not required”
• Reply implies “I’m not done until you do.”
More in the same vein:
• A blog is my back yard
• A message board is a park
• A blog has readers
• A message board has lurkers
• A blog is all about ME
• A message board is all about US
• When things go quiet on a blog, the onus is on one person
• When things go quite on a message board, the onus is on everyone
Sebastian Fiedler further explains how blogs differ from message boards:
Discussion forums and message boards require a consistent effort of a group to work. They fall apart if people sign off and go quiet or if somebody starts to get outright destructive. Networks of Weblog authors are much more robust. If one goes quiet or produces rubbish nothing major happens to the collective or a single Weblog authoring project which can quite happily stand on its own and develop new connections… and cut off old ties that seem to have lost its value anymore.
Fiedler goes on to explain that the increased ownership of blogs compared to message boards makes them better environments because the owner can exert control and manage them in a way that is not possible on message boards.
And according to blogger Mark Bernstein, the technical underpinnings of a blog create dialogue that’s unique to blogs:
comments are not the real facilitator of dialogue, they can in fact be quite destructive and often are trivial. The real communicative element of the blogsphere – what Fiedler calls the “robust” nature of blog newtorks – lies in the linked communication that occurs between blogs.
By linking to other blog posts, bloggers create an intricate network of connections among their blogs, and this web of technical links can affect search engine rankings and can raise a blog’s profile independently of the dialogue that’s taking place in words on the pages of the blogs.