Visit my new Technology News website, TECHPopuli.

December 26, 2003


[Note: what follows is some very geeky stuff.]

I have to look around the net and see if others are thinking about this, but I had an idea over the holiday.

It occurs to me, that in some notable ways, a blog and a forums discussion group are really very similar. They have more of less the same underlying data structure, but they are displayed in different ways.


A blog is a main posting followed by zero or more comments. A forum is many threads made up of one or more postings. Both have permalinks, and the ability to include links to other resources, and add new comments/postings.

The big difference is that they have different "voices" and social interactions. A blog is primarily a one-to-many thing, and a forum is many-to-many.

But both can be drawn from the same database at the same time.

What would it be like if these two "communities" both inhabited the same data structure, the same collection of postings and replies? Readers/visitors could choose to view it as a blog with a single main "commentator", or as a forum with many, more or less equal, contributors.

Think of it as two different organisms, simultaeously occuping the same environment. They mostly function independently, but sometimes they interact with each other. Producing food (ideas) for each other, and working together to compete more effectively (by screening and tuning each other's ideas).

The abilitity to exist separately will promote the generation of more diverse kinds of ideas, and the ability to overlap will energise each side, provide crossover possibilities, and oportunities of scale.

Symbiosos. Is anyone looking into this kind of thing?

Posted by jghiii at December 26, 2003 02:05 PM
Post a comment