Blog vs Web Site

One of the blogs that I read,  Working at Home on the Internet, is sponsoring a Blog vs.Web Site project, and it made me think about why I started this blog.

I’ve had a web site since 2001 and enjoy creating Excel tutorials and sample files. These are popular, and traffic increases each month. Recently, I plunged into blogging as a different way to communicate with Excel users and perhaps a larger community.

To me blog vs. web is like newsstand vs. library. Blog readers want a hot tip or fascinating tidbit, something juicy to chew on, not lug home and study for a week. Readers grab the idea of the day, learning though serendipity. They come to a blog with an open mind, ready to absorb a new idea. They hope to find something provocative or amusing or a helpful tip.

With a blog, there’s daily pressure to write something new and interesting. On my web site I add items for reference. There’s no posting schedule — I add an article or sample file when I’m inspired. The site has an index page and many visitors, including me, return to the same pages frequently when trying to remember how some obscure feature works.

The blog’s style is casual and personal, different than the more formal style of the web site. Another key difference is the interaction with readers. On a web site, a tutorial might inspire a reader to email me for clarification or to point out an error. On a blog, readers can leave a comment, good or bad, for the whole world to see. Well a small part of the world!

By inviting comments, you became vulnerable. Instead of being a reclusive expert, blogging makes me face the world every day, look it square in the eye, and say, “Here’s my opinion. What do you think?” It’s invigorating, with a few moments of nail biting.

It’s challenging to find new topics to post, and to explore a new medium. I’ve experienced some pain in learning the secrets of WordPress, but that will pass. At any rate, it’s been enjoyable so far, and I hope it continues.

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3 Responses

  1. Jon Peltier says:

    Blogging is pretty cool. I find the barrier to publication much lower compared to writing an “official” web page. I have no problem finding topics, I have a huge list of items on my ‘to post’ list. The challenges are in thinking how to approach each topic, getting started, and keeping the length reasonable.

    Another challenge is how not to spend all day on my blog.

    After an initial learning period with WordPress, I find the challenge is determining which of the gajillions of plugins I want to use.

  2. Thanks Jon, you described the topic challenges better than I did. I too have a long list of topics, links and tips, and the hard part is picking one to expand into an article. After I start writing, the challenge is staying on track, and not wandering off to “research” new links.

    And I look forward to the next phase of working with WordPress, when plugin choices will be my biggest concern.

  1. July 12, 2008

    […] Debra Dalgleish of Contextures Blog has submitted this post entitled… Blog vs Website […]

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