Blogs or Websites: that became a key question in the Round Table Discussion on Internet Marketing on Radio 940 Montreal on February 1. This was hosted by Sherry Thacker of the Women’s Entrepreneurial Networking System. People hold strong opinions on this but the question is not an easy one. The Cre8asite Forums (tagline – Building Better Websites Together) has an interesting discussion on exactly that – What is the difference between a blog and website? The answer is not clear cut.
What Is A Blog
Most people know what a website is, but blog is a new word. It’s short for Weblog. In other words, it used to be a form of (sometimes personal) journal on the World Wide Web (Internet). Blogs have evolved and now they’re sometimes taking very different forms. Here are some characteristics of a blog.
- Must have new posts added from time to time
- May have dates on the entries
- May allow comments
- May use blogging software
- May have a RSS newsfeed (alerts when new content is added)
- May allow other websites to have links to it (Track backs)
The only common characteristic of all blogs is the first one, they have new content from time to time. Anything else is optional. It should also be noted that all blogs are really websites. On the other hand, not all websites are blogs.
Successful Websites Are Blogs
Successful websites are ones that achieve their goals, which often implies that visitors should come back from time to time. This is only likely if the website is in constant evolution adding more content to justify the return trip. In saying that we seem to have stated the first common characteristic of all blogs. So logically, successful websites are blogs or at least have certain slices that are blogs.
We have a very recent example of that in Canada. The Globe and Mail on-line edition has just gone through a major website redesign. It’s readers too are asking the same question: is it a blog or is it a website. You can now leave comments on the website, which is a very blog-like property. In my opinion, the Globe and Mail website has now a major slice of it which is clearly a blog.
The other characteristic that most blogs share is an RSS newsfeed, which provides alerts on when new content has been added. With the latest version of Internet Explorer (now in Beta 2 Preview release), you even hear the Microsoft swish as you visit the Globe and Mail website. That indicates that it has one or more RSS Newsfeeds associated with it. It certainly seems to walk like a blog and talk like a blog: I guess it must be a blog.