A network is a connection.
A community is built on top of a network.
A network does not require activity.
A community is active, built by and of people.
A blog is a publication in a social context.
Communities are built around shared affinities.
Shared affinities are discovered via front-facing social objects that draw like-interested individuals.
When thousands of active readers converge on a blog, engaging in threaded commenting and lengthy discussion - is this a blog or a community?
Blogging has evolved. There are now three categories. And a fourth is just around the corner.
3 Primary Categories of Blogging
- Social Journalism - NY Times blogs - professionally authored and published, the social arm of a traditional media property
- Community Blogging - blogging as part of a conversation, a broader community.
- Broadcast Blogging - traditional publishing in a blog setting.
While the technology suggests that TechCrunch is a blog, it is only a matter of time until the next category emerges.
A blog on a community page may currently serve this purpose. But a community function on a blog (similar to Mashable's Community) changes the blog dynamic.
Disqus and Typepad Connect bring threaded conversations to blog comments. But I'm waiting for the technology that connects comments and commenters, enabling deep, structured conversational engagement in the comments. I'm waiting for the community in the comments.
Blogs are no longer one size fits all. Comments are no longer one size fits all. It's time we recognized them as such.