I want to add to Brandon Davis-Shannon post about Distributed Conversations
I am afraid that by using blog posts and comments as a web forum we are returning back to the ugly type of threaded web forums used in the ’90s, I prefer the linear (flat) discussions.
You can read more about the differences between blogs and web forum discussions:
Weblogs or blogs are being heralded as the “next big thing” in education. In this article we examine the advantages and disadvantages of this form of Internet-based interaction using the Community of Inquiry model with its focus on social, cognitive and teaching presences. We conclude that blogging has distinct advantages over more common threaded discussion in its support of style, ownership and identity, and its public nature may enhance resolution phases of cognitive presence. However, its lack of safety and the current inefficiencies of linking and threading messages present greater challenges than the more familiar threaded discussion or email list. Perhaps the blog’s greatest relative advantage is for non formal and open education that takes learning beyond the traditional course.
Source: International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning
Weblogs and Message Boards both allow for responses from the community- new topics can be responded-to by others. Weblog topics have comments and message board topics have replies. This subtle difference in syntax reveals a difference in the roles. The word comment for weblogs implies that the author does not need further participation to reach a goal- comment if you want. Reply, on the other hand, implies that participation is explicitly requested by the poster. A discussion is not a discussion without a reply.
Source: Common Craft
To a large extent, blogging and forum use correlated with specific individual learning styles and media affordances: the use of blogs was associated with the ability to create personal space for personal learning, quiet reflection and developing personal relationships with bloggers and others. The use of forums was associated with fast paced challenging interaction, relationships based on sharing of ideas, more open discussion and more links to the discussed themes and bigger picture.
Source: Networked Learning Conference 2010