Blog or website – what’s the difference?

Please note: This is the first post in a series of posts on the general topic “What is a blog?”  The series includes the following posts:
– Blog or website – what’s the difference?
Some key features of blogs : Part 1 : Creation; Structure and technical aspects
Some key features of blogs : Part 2 : Content; Community and relationship building
Some key features of blogs : Part 3 : Blogs and websites sometimes overlap; Advantages of blogs; Some concerns about blogs
Some key features of websites : Part 1: Creation; Structure and technical aspects; Content;
Some key features of websites : Part 2 : Authority; Website and blog overlaps; Advantages of websites; Some concerns about websites
– Blog or website?  Your conclusions!

Blog or website – what’s the difference?  Do I need one?  What’s best for me?

What is a blog (or weblog, as it was originally known)?  And how is it different from a website?  Or from all those other things on the internet, like ezines, online news sites, wikis, forums, and social network micro-blogs like Twitter? All of these are options for creating content and communicating, to one degree or another, on the internet. You can check out details about some of these internet information and communication sources in this blog’s glossary, but in this particular series of posts, we will narrow the discussion to blogs and websites.

Frankly, there are a lot of opinions about this issue!  Most opinions/definitions either come from either a technology viewpoint, or from a user viewpoint.  For example, at problogger, we read this idea:

A company has a website.  That website talks to customers.  A person has a blog.  That blog talks to people.  It’s a matter of attitude, not of technology.  Yes, this is a gross simplification.  But it gets right to the heart of the matter.

However, if you go on to read the comments in response to this post, you will find that a lot of people see it differently.

Basically, from my observations, I would say that blogs are a kind of website, or at least they evolved from websites, though some folks would argue about that; many websites are now adding blogs; many blogs are now adding website features; and sometimes it is difficult to tell whether a site is a website or a blog … or both.   Confused yet?

As another example, at contentious.com, Amy Gahran describes the difference this way:

In fact, they started out converged.  After all, a blog is nothing more than a kind of website supported by a content management system that provides a useful collection of features:  Comments, a permalink for each post, categories, tags, a home page where the latest content automatically appears on top and earlier stuff scrolls down, etc.

“Pardon? What?” I hear you groaning.  Okay, let’s cut through the jargon and try to sort this out bit by bit!  Keep coming back to read the rest of the posts in this series.  See you again tomorrow.

Question :  Do some of the terms in this post puzzle you?  You’ll find simple definitions for many of them in this site’s glossary. (Remember, if a word or phrase is blue or underlined, you can click on it to find out more information).

Tip of the day :  When you read an interesting blog post, check out the comments at the bottom, too.  And be sure to add your input to the conversation (or start it, if no one else has commented yet) – click on “Leave a Comment.”  Find more information on how to interact with us here.

Put it into action :  If coming back to this site everyday to see what’s new seems like a lot of work, why not subscribe to our RSS feed.  Just click on the red “RSS – posts” button in the column to the right, and follow the instructions you receive.  Every time we publish a new post, you will be notified in your RSS feed.  (In future posts, we’ll give you more ways to subscribe.  Try out different ways, and see what works best for you).

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