Why I blog more than use discussion tools
Denham Grey continues doubting about blogs (in this comment to this post; some context is here; the discussion is disrtibuted over several places):
We have different views on posting in web conferences I think. I hardly ever consider 'overload' in this context as it is so easy to skip posts (or people) that do not interest you.
The aspect of ownership is interesting - sometimes I honestly think bloggers do not want feedback / pushback they are happy to have everything their way and are not looking for disagreement - in fact avoiding confrontation may be one of the primary reasons for blogging in the first place.
I feel that blogging ideas makes them more open for a commentary than posting them to a discussion. In the second case readership is limited by the discussion audience, but with blogs you never know who may comment on it (and you can do nothing if they disagree - the best things would be to continue with new arguments). And this whole "discussion" can be very visible because of ways how search engines index blogs.
Blogging may look like "avoiding confrontation" at your own web-site, but this is not true as well: readers can use comments and in some cases you also can do nothing about it (e.g. with my current software I can't even delete comments if I don't like them).
Now to the more general point: blogging vs. discussion boards. There is a comparison here, but I'd like to focus on more personal feelings about it.
I need a conversation to grow my ideas, to be more specific I need a deep reflective conversation for it. In this conversation context means a lot, especially knowing why someone comments in a specific way. In academic writings you can trace it a bit with references, in informal coffee-table discussions you trace it with your knowledge about person's background and work. So, guess what is my problem with most of on-line discussions? I find it difficult to learn about context.
Some of on-line discussions are perfect for "going in and out", getting feedback on a small question (e.g. BRINT), but I want more. Other discussions, usually more private and often closed are better for reflective conversations, but in this case there is a "newcomer" problem: if you join in the middle of the discussion it takes a lot to recreate the context and to be able to join in (then I say - I don't have time for it).
So, I choose blogging. It gives me nonintrusive access to people I don't know personally. Blogs gives a better feeling of their authors thinking and reasoning than discussion boards. Probably those "distributed conversations" in blogs are not so easy to overview, but given a combination of RSS, news aggregator, referrer logs, Technorati and other tools it's not so difficult to trace it. And, bonus! as it's so difficult to overview many bloggers tend to summarise it - one thing which is not easy to get in on-line discussions.
Later: See also George Siemens about wikis and blogs in educational context (thanks to Albert Delgado)
Wiki link to blogging: I've found that I'm willing to collaborate once I have an identity...and that my collaboration will not minimize my identity (i.e. I won't disappear as a unique, personal entity into a nameless part of the larger whole). Blogging is the forum where I become/express my identity. Once this home base is established, I can begin to collaborate. So, set up blogs first...then move to wikis...and back to blogs. This is much like classrooms - start with where I'm at...discuss publicly...take public discussion and reflect personally. Wikis and blogs, therefore, are both unique elements in the larger territory of communication/learning. Different tools...different tasks.