Blogs -N- Forums, What’s The Difference?

    April 7, 2005

Tom put up a post about blogs and forums that’s quite noteworthy. I tried to comment on it at SVW but TypeKey crapped out on me so I’ll post my comments here.

Read Tom’s post.

Here are a few snippets from Toms reflections on blogs and market conversations.

But the blogosphere might not be as resistant to influence as people might believe. In fact, I could argue that the rise of blogging has made it easier than ever for corporations to target/influence people…

…Doc is a huge name in the blogosphere because of his blog, and because he is co-author of the seminal 1999 book, Cluetrain Manifesto. Doc has a gentle humility about him and never tires to talk about the central thesis of his book, that markets are conversations. People talk to each other about products, services and companies, and these comprise market conversations.

This might seem strikingly obvious today, but Doc says that that was not the case about ten years ago, when he formulated his ideas, and when blogs were just beginning to be seen.

Yet how could anyone find out where the many millions of market conversations occur each day and what was said, in the time of Doc’s blog-free world? …

…although there are more than 50m blogs, the ones that count are very few in number and they have become regular meeting places for discussions.

Since the title of the SVW post references forums I think it’s important to note the noise issue associate with forums versus blog search engines and aggregators. The core problem with a forum is anyone from anywhere with anything to say can put up a post for discussion. Whereas with a blog, you are graded on the quality of your content and you can filter who posts comments in response to your posts.

Likewise, blog search engines and aggregators are a reverse forum of sorts. They take the “more popular” blogs or posts which have generated some buzz and bring them to the top. So they act as a filter for the noise.

There are a few companies that have integrated this reverse forum mentality direcly into their blogging apps and allow community owners to check the blogs of the members in their community and aggregate the cream of the crop on a central blog. I won’t mention co. names here lest my point be lost.

Jason Dowdell is a technology entrepreneur and operates the Marketing Shift blog.