Wikis or Blogs – what’s the difference?

Reflecting on a question someone asked the other day – “What do you see as the difference between a wiki and a blog?” My response would generally be that I see a wiki as collaborative tool and a blog as a reflective tool.  I googled it and came up with someone who shares my thoughts exactly but puts it very succinctly in terms of an educator.

“A Wiki is a project based tool that allow for collaboration among students, work colleagues, or any virtual community. The impact that a Wiki has is the opportunity to learn together, plan and write projects, or draft work utilizing shared applications. It can be used for the exchange of services to find experts, or fellow learners. It is also a way to plan and meet people in the virtual community.

A Blog is an example of a deep learning experience. A blog can serve as a personal diary artifact or journal, where students put their thinking in a open space for review, to give a good look, or to receive input and feedback from an instructor, social media environment or class community.”

http://rosalindbain.wordpress.com/2011/10/12/post-4/

Another blog posting at http://mplictechtrain.blogspot.com/2007/04/what-is-difference-between-blog-and.html begins by giving the wikipedia definition and talks about the similarities

  • they are both websites.
  • They are both user-generated (the content of blogs and wikis is created by the actual people who use the blogs or wikis.)
  • They both allow users to comment on the content.

and goes on to look at the differences eg what wikis are good for and what blogs are good for.

Adam Frey of wikispaces suggests that  “The simple answer is that a blog is like a journal. It’s great if you want to have an ongoing dialogue or discussion. Say, if the kids are keeping a daily diary about their homework, or about any topic.
A wiki, however, is less about new content every day, and more about evolving the same content over time.
So for example, on a wiki, you could have a student post an essay, and then another student can make some additions and corrections, and another, and another, and over time the essay improves and becomes the work of the whole class.
Blogs are about communicating, wikis are about getting work done, or working together.”

http://thedaringlibrarian.wikispaces.com/Teacher_Technology

So, each has benefits. When thinking about which one to use for which purpose, think about whether you want to do some collaborating  (wiki) or reflective writing (blog).  I use both with students and for my personal and professional use and find both useful tools to add to my armory of web2.0 tools.

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