12-03-2004, 07:56 AM
I noticed a lot of debate on blogs lately and I have a question: how do blogs differ from forums, and which one is better from the marketing poin of view.
12-05-2004, 01:39 PM
Blogs started out as simple personal journal type sites, with a comment link to add comments to a story or blog posting. Blogs look similar to a news site, with a story, generally a few paragraphs in length, and a provision to comment on that story.
Discussion forums differ in that the postings are generally categorized, and each category has individual topics. The first post of a discussion is usually a few paragraphs also, and comments are added below the first post.
A good number of blogs do not have the comment capability, in that respect they differ from discussion forums, forums are designed to permit comments. Also, blogs are now being used as news sites, and without oversight, may be posting information that is false or misleading. You certainly wouldn't want to associate with a particular blog with a bad reputation, so a little checking would be in order. And the same goes for any discussion forum, check some posts and see what is in the forum before approaching them with advertising.
In recent months, the news media has picked up on the word "blog" making it a buzz word, and giving blogs a lot of publicity. Discussion forums have been around a lot longer, and I don't think blogs will overshadow forums as far as popularity in the long term.
I followed the talks at the recent Online News Association annual get together, and blogs were discussed at length. The main problem now with blogs is accountability in their stories. But, blogs are getting a lot of hits, and some advertising on them would get your message seen.
The main thing to do is find blogs that fit your advertising message, and place your ads where they would do the most good.
Also, you can find discussion forums that target your market, and advertise there. If you take a look through our listings, you may find discussion forums that match what you're looking for, or let me know and I can give you a list of forums that would suit you.
I think maybe advertise on blogs now, while they are hot, and if you see click thrus decrease over a period of time, shift to discussion forums. Some of the forums we list have been around almost ten years, so forums are a good long term bet.
Hope that helps, and please post any more questions you may have, I'd be glad to answer as I can.