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What is the Difference Between a Blog and a Forum?

This is a question that is often asked, so we thought we’d post an answer on our blog. Both blogs and forums are great tools for online communication, but the differences between the two affect how communication is accomplished and what type of response to expect.

Forums:

Forums host a vast array of discussions, which are usually organized by category. All discussions are monitored by an administrator, or a group of administrators, but any member of the forum can begin a new discussion. The first post in the forum is usually just as important as follow-up responses. In all, forums are great for hosting discussions and, for the most part, all forum members are treated equally.

Many companies deploy forums as a means to assist with customer service and technical support. Customers can search the forums for similar questions and concerns to see if their particular question was previously asked and answered.

Blogs:

With a blog, the importance weighs heavily on the initial post, which can only be created by authorized authors. Most blogs allow follow-up comments for discussion, but the comments are usually not required to understand the blog post. Blogs can help establish authors as a thought leaders and experts, creating connections to people with similar interests. As blogs build a base of subscribers, blog authors gain a lot of influence as well.

Companies who launch blogs do so for various reasons. Businesses with corporate blogs are more transparent, sharing stories and ideas with employees and customers. Just like individuals can start blogging about a specific topic, companies can do the same.

It’s all about communication.

Both forums and blogs are great tools for communication, but the differences between the two lend themselves to different uses. Before choosing one or the other, think about who you are trying to connect with and your goals. To learn more, check out some of our other articles on blogging and social media.

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