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> What exactly is a blog? I know, but what does the definition mean to you
> and your users?
For me it's a means of sharing info and frustrations in one location.
I belong to a ton of professional mailing lists, and with x-posting
rules and the general difficulty in fielding threads on multiple
lists, it's easier for me to blog my issue/info and move on, knowing
that those who are interested will read and maybe comment, as they
would a mailing list. It's not as in-your-face as a mailing list (an
opt-in approach to reading) but it fits my needs. If I'm successful, I
suppose my RSS subscriber count will go up, but overall, the blog is
just there for my own use. If someone gets to an entry now or 2 years
from now, it's fine with me. Kind of a professional-oriented, public
"dear diary"... ;-)
> What really is the difference between a blog and another CMS or web
> publishing strategy?
A blog is a very basic form of CMS/web publishing tool.
> Isn't what defines a blog more about philosophy than technology?
In part, yes. It's certainly a culture thing, being adopted by teens
and 20-somethings more than any other age group. Subjects range from
extremely social and sometimes bizarre topics to very targeted
> In the case of replacing newsletters, why not go with a CMS portal type
> approach. Latest news and articles on the first page and all other
> articles archived and classified.
That's sort of what a blog does. You can certainly classify your blog
entries as well (I haven't done this), and for multi-user info dumps,
a wiki will suffice.
> Why not make it appealing to as wide an audience as possible? Regular e
> and snail mailings of a whole package, RSS and e-mail of articles as they
> appear, and make all the different deliveries available in a variety of
> formats (pdf off-line, pdf on-line, HTML).
Not a bad idea if your audience is large and varied (like in the case
of the STC).
> The site can grow to include discussion groups, commenting, and all manner
> of technologies.
That's one limitation of a blog... out of the can it cannot do this,
but you can certainly tie a blog into a larger site portal.
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