After blogging for over a year I sometimes have difficulty coming up with blog topics. One of the ways that I determine future blog topics is through my subscription to Chris Brogan's Blog Topics newsletter. In a recent newsletter Chris recommends reviewing the comments on your blog for topics and repetitive questions.
One such question I frequently receive is, “What is the difference between a blog post and a webpage?” I think this is such a fundamental question, especially as it relates to education, that I would add my two cents.
What are Blog Posts?
A blog post is an article you write as part of a blog. Originally, people called a blog a “web log” and entries were kept like a journal or diary. Eventually, web log was shortened to “blog” and now blog entries are a very popular form of content. Blog content is generally text, photos, infographics or videos.
The basic structure of a good blog post includes:
- Headline that includes the main keyword phrase
- Publish date
- Author by-line
- Post category
- Main content
- Bolded text
- Bulleted or numbered list
- Media (photo, infographic or video)
- Social share buttons
- Comments section
What is a Webpage?
A webpage is a static page on your website that addresses a specific type of content, such as your homepage, about us, admissions, academics, arts, athletics, student experience, etc. While you can view the date your page was created, viewers do not see the date and the content is timeless.
For example, your about us page is not supposed to expire. Sure, you can go back and update the page, by chances are you will not continue to create new about us pages every year.
Webpages are not meant to be social like a blog post, so they usually don’t have social sharing buttons. For example, you don’t want visitors sharing your privacy page on Twitter.
Typically, webpages don’t include a comments section. The idea is that webpage content isn’t something up for discussion.
Difference Between Blog and Webpage
I think of a webpage as being non-interactive, static, and one-way with regard to communication. A new social media friend, @amyfsmythe, recently asked me this question as it relates to teacher webpages. Using my definition of a webpage I believe that a teacher webpage has the following characteristics:
- Content only created by the teacher
- No ability to communicate or collaborate with the reader/audience
- Updated very infrequently – maybe only once or twice a year at logical school vacations
- Doesn't inspire thought or creativity because the webpage only serves as virtual filing cabinet
In my opinion, the view of the “traditional” teacher webpage is the antithesis of the 21st Century Skills that most educators now feel are necessary for our students to master in order to be successful in the new global economy.
By way of comparison, a blog has the following characteristics:
- Posts are listed in reverse chronological order
- Individuals or groups create content for the blog
- Is interactive through it's use of comments after each post
- Offers social media sharing options
- Is updated frequently
In summary, blogs share many of the same characteristics with the 21st Century skills: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, and innovation.
Blog Use In Education
I see two main uses of blogs in education: inbound marketing and 21st Century Education. If you've read my blog before you know that I speak about the merits of blogging as part of the inbound marketing strategy for your school. Blogging allows you to accomplish many things with regard to marketing your school – including branding.
While I feel comfortable discussing blogging as a marketing tool, I feel like a third grader discussing blogging as part of inculcating 21st skills in our students. With that said, it just makes sense to me.
The idea of learning being confined to just the classroom is so last century and while you might not feel comfortable with social media tools like blogging, your students are more than just comfortable with their use…they live there. It also seems to me that blogs allow students to become partners in education through collaboration and the extension and creation of ideas offered in the blog.
The power of blogging is immense and I would love to hear your reactions to my thoughts or other ways that you use blogging in education.
Originally published August 9, 2011, 04:00 AM, updated February 14, 2022