I recently read and reposted an article, This is Not a Blog Post, about the changing landscape of blogs to article-based sites, and vice versa. After reading, I began to think about blogs and websites: what keeps them separate, what binds them together, and what they mean for businesses.
In the world of constant communication, internet, and a general population of tech-savvy people and easy-to-create websites and blogs, the line that divides a blog from a website is blurring. On a daily basis I visit many blogs and websites but rarely stop to think wether the site I am on is considered a blog or a website. I’d first like to look at this topic formally. In order to get a more complete idea of a blog and a website, in the traditional sense, I pulled the definition of each from three separate dictionaries to further understand the definitions:
- Dictionary.com: A connected group of pages on the World Wide Web regarded as a single entity, usually maintained by one person or organization and developed to a single topic or several closely related topics.
- Merriam-Webster: a group of World Wide Web pages usually containing hyperlinks to each other and made available online by an individual, company, educational institution, government, or organization.
- New Oxford American Dictionary: a location connected to the Internet that maintains one or more pages on the World Wide Web.
- Dictionary.com: A journal written online and accessible to users of the internet.
- Merriam-Webster: a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer; also : the contents of such a site.
- New Oxford American Dictionary: a Web site on which an individual or group of users produces an ongoing narrative.
After reading the definitions, I got a few things:
- A blog is widely considered an interactive journal
- A blog is often maintained by one or more people, with regular updates
- A website operates under an official capacity
- A website has multiple pages
- A website covers closely related content (say, a brand)
All this being said, I feel that there are very few clear distinguishers between blogs and websites. Typically, I see blogs that are extensions of websites (i.e. the site’s less formal, more personable, and more varietal version of itself).
In many ways, I can understand why people would choose to switch over to a more manageable program such as wordpress, squarespace, or tumblr to fulfill their web needs. When it comes to hard-coded websites and proprietary content management systems, it can be difficult when only one person is capable of managing it. Even more so, continually changing content is important for SEO and site traffic.
You may look at a site like Victors & Spoils and know that it’s a website. However, you will notice that it’s single, scrolling page is typical to that of a blog. So you could call it a blog because of its format, but the content says otherwise… the core content is rarely updated, and purely about the company and the work they’ve done. And then, of course, you have a more traditional and recognizable blog such as a cooking blog like JoytheBaker.com. This has the common characteristics of a blog – personal journaling, comments, hyperlinks and an ongoing narrative.
When you boil it down, does it really matter? Being forced to classify may not be necessary. The content is what matters. Many websites are focused around a sole purpose of educating consumers and sharing relevant information. Even more, as mentioned above, an active website is more likely to draw and stronger SEO rating and generate more traffic. So do you have a blog or a website? And, do you care?
I’d be curious to know your thoughts on this.