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Blogs vs. Forums

It is reasonable to suggest that a large chunk of blogs are just like forums with one difference: on a blog, the ability to create a new thread is limited to the authors of the blog.

Why then has blogging software remained so far beyond forum software? Granted, forums and bulletin boards have existed since long ago, but many are open source and the ideas have been done. Polls? "Who's online" lists? Private messages? Every piece of forum software I've seen has these capabilities. Many use PHP and MySQL for dynamic posting out of the box.

What's to stop someone from creating a forum on which only they can create new threads, and simply using that as their blog? Hrmmm.

In other news, I may be working on a polling solution for MovableType with someone. We're not sure just yet, but we'll see. MTVote and MTPoll aren't going anywhere.

5 Responses to "Blogs vs. Forums"

  1. A number of forum packages (Invision Board is the one I'm most familiar with) support pseudo blog features. I.e., they allow the creation of a custom front page that lists new threads from a specific board in a blog like format, complete with an indication of how many comments there are. I've thought about using that sort of setup for my personal blog in the past but I never like the "forumness" of the layouts once a user gets past the front page. But I agree that those extra features would be quite nice as part of a more traditional blogging package.

  2. Now that my work load has lessened somewhat, I have been trying to decide which of my plugins will finally get some work done. I think you have managed to push me over the edge here. MTVote will be getting a major facelift starting this weekend hopefully.

  3. In reality, forums, blogs (a la Word Press or MoveableType), Wikis, and the like are all really the exact same thing: A means to store information and present it on the web. The only inherent difference between them is what model of organization and presentation is used.

    I actually used a forum (phpBB2, fyi) as a blog for a while, and it worked out reasonably well.

    ... The only problem I had with it was that phpBB wasn't designed for that presentation style, so I had to rely on a user mod, and the only one that did what I wanted wasn't nearly as polished as I would like, and caused some problems.

  4. WebCrossing claims to be doing something in this area:

    Web Crossing is simply the best blog server you'll find. With support for private categories, optional user comments, teasers, spellcheck, fast indexed search, photo blogging, drafts, and a unique timed-release feature, you won't find a more full-featured weblog tool. Besides all of that, you'll get access controls, RSS feeds by category, email subscriptions, and support for Metaweblog and Blogger APIs so you can post from your favorite blog client.

  5. I've had similar quandaries. Personally, it amazes me that people still uses MT, it's underpowered for the job it's trying to accomplish.

    I'm building a new site based around Drupal ( I highly recommend you check it out... It's extremely powerful and will do what you do now with MT and that polling feature (and 400k others) are already there. And yes, it supports metaWebLogAPI.