Blogs and forums again!

I have spent some time today thinking about this, reading and trying to ‘get a handle’ on the differences. Having written this I can also see that it would be good to ‘get a handle’ on the similarities but I haven’t done that yet.

Anyhow – here are my first thoughts, which I will continue to think through.

People choose to blog in preference to posting to discussion forums because

People choose to discuss in forums in preference to blogging because

They are more personal

They are familiar – the easy option

They are more distributed

Communication is faster/rapid fire

They are less teacher-centric

People feel a greater sense of proximity to other forum posters

‘Loud’ voices who drown everyone out can be more easily side-stepped

Forum posting is less effort than blogging

There is less criticism

Forum posting is more linear than blogging

There are fewer disparaging comments

There is a greater community presence in forums

There is a greater sense of personal control

Conversation is more flexible/diverse

There is a greater sense of belonging to a community

There is more sparring/challenge

There is more time for reflection

The quality of posts is higher

There are greater opportunities for self-expression

They are more like a conversation

There is greater opportunity for self-assessment

You can find information more easily

Relationships are closer and deeper

You get more feedback

There is more crafting of writing

It is a more efficient way of making connections

There are higher levels of mutual trust and respect

There is less ‘navel gazing’

There is less posturing and pontification

You are more likely to receive feedback on your opinions

There is a greater sense of freedom

It takes too long to get a blog up and running

I’m sure there will be many different perspectives on this, which I’m looking forward to exploring. It’s not a new topic, but the answers still don’t seem that clear and for me, more clarity around the similarities and differences would help me with online course design.

6 thoughts on “Blogs and forums again!

  1. suifaijohnmak February 26, 2009 / 9:36 pm

    What an inspiration!
    This is relating to our experience of CCK08, so practical and reflective.
    A great lead to another exciting discussion. I will surely reflect more deeply by analysing some of our blogs and forum discussion.
    How about some preliminary statistics to backup the comparision? It would surely be interesting to see the degree of “validity” to enable generalisation. Don’t know if that sort of research has been carried out to justify each “plausible reason or statement”. A focus group approach? Or a debate with one versus the other could be exciting!

    Another brainstorming session for me (us)!

    Many thanks Jenny for your thought provoking comparison.


  2. Heli February 27, 2009 / 2:31 pm

    Hi Jenny,
    I am following your blog with great interest, but you know: I am a slow writer in English.
    In CCK08 I prefered blogs and I agreed in my mind with Stephen when he said blogs were better because they were decentralized and owned by the blog keeper.
    In your list I agree with:
    Blogs are more personal, distributed, less teacher-centered, greater sense of personal control, more time for reflection, greater opportunities for self expression, relationships are deeper, mutual trust and respect, greater sense of freedom.

    I didn’t see CCK08 forums as opportunities to feedback or more change, I didn’t succeed to get anything there. People spoke “not to others but to themselves” and I saw much competition there.

    But in Finland I participate forums and I can get information and quick relationships, share interests, it requires good language skills.

    We need both blogs and forums and what else? I appreciate your blog and follow.. participate when I can take time to this. Go ahead please (is this well said? always unsure..)

  3. jennymackness February 27, 2009 / 5:18 pm

    Reply to John – Of course you are right – these are just opinions at the moment and it would be interesting to know how generalisable they are. I will carry on pondering!

  4. jennymackness February 27, 2009 / 5:25 pm

    Hei Heli

    Kiittää te ajaksi sinun käynti.

    Is this right? I had to go to a translator to get it. It is supposed to say Hello Heli – Thank you for your visit.

    Everything you say is well said – so I welcome your comments. I’m interested in your perspective on communication in the forums. Do you think there were any cultural issues that maybe we need to think about when considering the differences between blogs and forums?

    I’m interested int your comment:

    I didn’t see CCK08 forums as opportunities to feedback or more change, I didn’t succeed to get anything there. People spoke “not to others but to themselves” and I saw much competition there.

    I’m definitely going to think more about that.

    Many thanks Heli


  5. Heli February 28, 2009 / 11:50 am

    Hi Jenny,
    it was a funny translation, your translator machine hasn’t studied Finnish. I would say only “kiitos käynnistä” . But thanks anyway, it was a beautiful effort.

    I have spent two hours reading your blog posts (February) and enjoyed … I try to find my place here and understand my theme and interests. I haven’t told in Ning what I am looking for because I don’t know it yet. Perhaps this participation is a dream of equal global community. I don’t want to lose it.

    Your thoughts about CCK08 as a course or network or community are important. I came to a learning community and found a course (Rodd said that it became an ordinary course after six weeks).

    Anyway, I will follow your blog and want to be connected with the community around you 🙂

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