Saturday, December 12, 2009

What's Best For You???

Blogs, websites, and wikis…what is so great about them, and when should I use one or the other? This question has surfaced within my head numerous times. After spending an entire semester learning about blogs, and creating my own, learning about websites, and creating my own, AND learning about wikis and creating my own, I realize that there is a time and place to use each; at least from my view point.

Blogs are a wonderful way to get personal on the web. They provide individuals with a place to share personal thoughts, opinions, and ideas. Basically, a blog is a hassle free (and money free!) way to express your personal beliefs. I’ve seen blogs be used as a forum for literature discussions. Individuals can write book reviews and other people can add their comments without detracting from the original post. Personally, I greatly enjoy being able to post my thoughts and opinions to my blog. People are free to read what I write, or they can pass right by. I have also participated in a blog that was used as a literary tool. As a class, we would post reviews of books being read and then we would have the opportunity to comment on others’ posts. I really enjoyed it!

I view websites, such as Google sites, or Weebly, as being much more “business like”; professional, if you will, in comparison to blogs.

Actually, before I continue…let me make myself clear. A blog IS a website, just a different form. Remember, a blog is short for web-log.

Anyway…a website is a great tool to be used in a professional way. I enjoy having my website as a professional portfolio. Employers can view this and be free from reading irrelevant information; such as, my feelings regarding Twitter, or my thoughts on some celebrity. I can have numerous pages on a website that contain a wide range of information; such as work experiences, sample work, resumes, etc. Schools often have websites that provide individuals with information about their standards, their curriculum and their philosophy statements. I will continue to use my website at as a tool for professionals to use when interested in learning more about me, in the “teaching” world.

Now, let’s talk about wikis. I consider wikis to be an interesting mix between blogs and websites (such as Wikis provide members with a resource to be used in both a professional and personal way. On the surface, a wiki appears to be a simple website. There are pages with different information. There is a “home” page, a navigation page, and there are tabs to be used to help navigate the site. However, when looked at more closely, a wiki is also very similar to a blog. Why? Because a wiki allows users to collaborate with one another…individuals can edit the pages, they can post their thoughts and opinions regarding the information available and they can add any sort of media they would like. This is very similar to a blog, because on a blog, people can post their thoughts and opinions regarding your post. Wikis are a wonderful tool to be used in a classroom. I think students would be eager to use a wiki due to its capabilities for interaction and collaboration, and yet it still looks professional due to its appearance (it looks very much like a simple website).

I believe these three tools (blogs, wikis, and websites) are very similar to one another; however, they also have very distinct differences that enable them to be better suited for different tasks. It is really up to you, how you’ like to use them. As I said before…I believe a blog to be a great tool to use as a personal sound board, websites are wonderful to be used in a more professional setting, and wikis are a great tool to be used in a collaborative community. Try them out, experiment! It’s the only way to figure it out for yourself.

Flickr Image Accessed From: kid.mercury

1 comment:

  1. I love that you point out that blogs are a way for individuals to comment on eachother's information without detracting from the original post. I think that is a vital part of blogging! I also like that you point out that you can target your website for a potential employer because they don't need to view the additional irrelevant information that might be in a blog. Nice job! After reading your post, I really feel like I have a good idea of when the usage of each of these three technologies are appropriate.