Back in the days, Web 2.0 was defined as a new medium that allows people to share things. Blogs and social sites were Web 2.0 and forums and personal sites were 1.0.
State of the Web and the forums
In a Cre8asite Forums thread, a question is raised about the state of the Web and where forums find themselves in it.
And while this is a very good question, it got me thinking. What makes a forum and what makes a social site?
While a forum is open two way communication (compared to one way blogging or social sites, where members can't write anything unless someone [blog or article author] has already written on the topic), surely there are other differences between forums and the social sites?
How are forums, blogs and social sites different?
In my opinion, the difference is the people and how people interact there.
The difference between Cre8asite Forums and Digital Point forums is the people. They make one forum the most populated and polluted one and the other the most tactful and thoughtful. And, ultimately, the people that post there give the newcomers a chance to make their choice, whether they want to stay there or not.
If we take social sites into account, people there can:
- learn what other people think on the topic
- discuss it with them
- share things of common interests
While this relation isn't as strong as on the forum or via email, it still allows people to feel alive and useful and spend their time doing something more interesting, than staring at an empty ceiling (or working :) ).
How forums, blogs and social sites are different?
Often, a question is raised about the difference between forums, blogs and social sites. People start naming technologies, such as RSS, AJAX, comments, etc, but no one really mentions the people themselves.
Since all of the sites offer various kinds of communications, various types of people are attracted there (or at least for various reasons).
- If you want to ask a question from a knowledgeable community, you go to a forum (or email a blogger, which is harder to do, though).
- If you want to read an opinion on something, you go to your favorite blogs in your RSS reader or to Digg.
- If you want to learn the latest news in your field, you go to your social site, or Digg, if you are into technology.
Alternatively, on any of them, you interact with different people in a different way, thus making your experience unique and uninterchangable.
Why Sphinn is the best of them all
- plenty of knowledgeable people
- a chance to start a discussion without an URL to link to
- post comments and discuss the topic, either in a discussion or some post
Sadly, because the discussion isn't very actively encouraged there - or maybe because the people don't participate them eagerly, Sphinn hasn't yet become The place to go to discuss things. But it's getting there.