Like Coke versus Pepsi, BMW versus Mercedes, another debate arising now: Blog versus forum. We will discuss a brief history of both, present and possible future of both.
Blog : A shared on-line journal where people can post diary entries about their personal experiences and hobbies; “postings on a blog are usually in chronological order”. (Reference)
Forum : An Internet forum, or message board, is an online discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages. (Reference)
Blog : The term “weblog” was coined by Jorn Barger on 17 December 1997. The short form, “blog,” was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog Peterme.com in April or May 1999. Shortly thereafter, Evan Williams at Pyra Labs used “blog” as both a noun and verb (“to blog,” meaning “to edit one’s weblog or to post to one’s weblog”) and devised the term “blogger” in connection with Pyra Labs’ Blogger product, leading to the popularization of the terms.
While the term “blog” was not coined until the late 1990s, the history of blogging starts with several digital precursors to it.
Forum: Forums perform a function similar to that of dial-up bulletin board systems and Usenet networks that were first created starting in the late 1970s. Early web-based forums date back as far as 1994, with the WIT project from W3 Consortium and starting from this time, many alternatives were created.
Justin Hall, recognized as one of the earliest pioneers in blog-like posting, first began publishing links from his Swarthmore College dorm room in 1994. He remembers the heady early days of online publishing, and notes that as entry barriers lessen, a new wave of microblogging is upon us. Thanks to blogs, zero technical know-how is required of today’s web publishers. All they need is an idea.
-By Jenna Wortham; Wired.net
With both blogs and forums, users can post a comment and reply to other comments, thus developing discussions. In both cases, you can leave comments which may or may not be moderated and you may have to identify yourself with a name and email address.
In blogs post or the content is made by a single user, comments are minor part of it. It is more centralized, trusted individuals provide accounts of events and information.
In forums a discussion on a particular topic by allowing commenting of posts. Decentralized, needs other special group of users (Moderators, Administrators etc.) to control proper discipline.
(Adapted from Blogs vs Forums)
From Search engine optimization (SEO) point of view
Blog uses advanced technology which offers the writer to add various attributes, Trackback, RSS, Aggregation, Permalinking, Cross linking; whereas Forum uses typically relatively older technologies. Forum based on (basically) blogging platform, such as WordPress is used now, but not that popular.
From “getting information” point of view
To get a specific information; users generally searches the web by using a search engine and reaches either to a forum or a blog. However, to find an information or to reach to a conclusion, user needs to waste much more time in a forum due to flooding of oneliner replies.
Blogs are more organized and informative. Infact, most of the popular website providing useful information to the users are blogs. Today, almost all know about Tutplus tutorials.
Social sites are killing forums
The necessity to communicate with like minded persons are now easily done via Facebook groups, Twitter or deviantArt (for artists, developers and users). Again, some of these social sites offers “blogs”, “notes”, “journals” etc.
When forum is more suitable for users
To solve a problem, users need a groups advice. Forums can serve the purpose easily. However, most of the bloggers are very active (though alone) and efficient, so this point blurs too.
Trend is rapidly shifting towards blog-reading and blog-writing. Almost all multi national companies (such as Google, Microsoft) involve employers to write blogs. More people are writing blog about the topic they know about. Definitely, it is creating a good source of information via internet, as a whole in a well organized manner.