Amity Business School
Blogs and discussion
forums as a medium
ChettupalliSai Praveen (D-23)
Abhishek Kumar (D-38)
2.1. Uses and advantages of blogs
3. Discussion Forums
3.1 Uses and advantages of discussion forums.
4. Blogs and discussion forums as knowledge forums
5. Challenges, Recommendations and Conclusion
Blogs and discussion forum as a medium for knowledge sharing
(ChettupalliSaiPraveen,SumitNandal,Abhishek Kumar,UtkarshJaiswal )
Knowledge is an abstract notion, which has been in the recent past actively categorised as a
significant organisational resource(Zack, 1998). The most major activity involved with
knowledge is of knowledge sharing. The most important law about knowledge would have to
be Dave Snowden’s rule that – “Knowledge can only be volunteered, it cannot be
conscripted.”(snowden, 2009). In the present technologically progressive world, primitive
methods of knowledge sharing and with them a normal online learning process would prove
to be inadequate.
We will focus on the uses of blogs and discussion forums for knowledge sharing. Blogs and
discussion forums are interactive and creative content development tools, which provide a
platform for peer to peer discussion and an interaction platform between educators and
Recently, there has been a dramatic proliferation in the number of blogs; however, little is
known and published about why people are motivated to participate in the blogs and
discussion forums. Based on the theory of reasoned action, we developed a model involving
technology acceptance, knowledge sharing and social influences. A survey of 212 blog
participants found strong support for the model. The results indicated that ease of use and
enjoyment, and knowledge sharing (altruism and reputation) was positively related to attitude
toward blogging, and accounted for 78% of the variance. On the other hand, social factors
(community identification) and attitude toward blogging significantly influenced a blog
participant's intention to continue to use blogs. Together they explain 83% of the variance of
intention to blog.(Chin-Lung Hsu, 2007)
Knowledge sharing is the activity of sharing knowledge between people, an organization or a
community. One prominent obstacle to this sharing is the concept of property. The major
trouble arises from the want of some incentive from people for the knowledge created by
them. A lack in knowledge sharing would lead to isolation and resistance to ideas, which
could otherwise have been welcome. There is a need for knowledge to be started to be
considered as a flow, in contrast to the present object as it is looked upon as. The difficulty in
knowledge sharing is in the transference of information from one entity to another, and with
new technologies coming out regularly, keeping abreast with forming new and effective
methods of knowledge transfer.(Sheng Wanga, 2010)
Our focus over here will be an understanding on the process of knowledge sharing and the
working of blogs and discussion forums as mediums for providing an environment for
knowledge sharing. The usage of blogs and discussion forums as content creator and an
interaction tool between peers.
Different innovators publish their journals of their findings and by the knowledge sharing the
people are able to know about the new things happening in the world.
There are many senses in which the work that went into creating a knowledge- based system
can be shared and reused. Rather than mandating one particular sense, the model described in
this article seeks to support several of them. One mode of reuse is through the exchange of
techniques. That is, the content of some module from the library is not directly used, but the
approach behind it is communicated in a manner that facilitates its reimplementation.Another
mode of reuse is through the inclusion of source specifications. That is, the content of some
module is copied into another at design time and compiled (possibly after extension or
revision) into the new component. A third mode is through the run-time invocation of
external modules or services. That is, one module invokes another either as a procedure from
a function library or through the maintenance of some kind of client-server relationship
between the two.(Robert Neches, 1991)
With the rapid growth in the accessibility of the World Wide Web, there is an endless stream
of information available for access. This has given rise to new methods of sharing. Blog, a
portmanteau of weblog, is an evolution from an online diary, where people would record an
account of their daily lives. Blogs are like mini websites which are easy to use, can be
updated easily, shared with anyone by providing the blog address and cheaper in cost, rather
free of cost most of the times. It has now evolved to an online journal, which will have one or
more contributors. Blogs, along with the conventional plain text and hyperlinks, also has
various forms of media, such as images and videos, in them.
Most blogs are traditionally personal or journalistic, but there has been an increased usage of
blogs as educational tools(Godwin-Jones, 2003). Blogs can also be used as a platform for
showing development and progress for language development. Blogs can be used to motivate
users to read extensively. The biggest advantage of blogs is its interactive nature. A person
can read and comment on what one reads, and can expect feedbacks from other readers on
their views. Users have the freedom to read things of their interest and express their truly
feelings and insight over there. Initially, blogging was used to share your view on a topic but
now it has become an important means of promotion and online marketing of products and
services as well. It also increases our social network, as it allows us to connect and know the
view point of people all over the world.
2.1 Uses and Advantages of Blogs
Blogs, have a wide range of advantages available for itself. Blogs create learner-centric
environment, wherein users can pace their learning according to their wish. Blogs incorporate
multiple perspectives and put together a number of most recommended aspects of effective
knowledge gain. Blogs promote an analytical, critical, innovative and analogical
However, on the flip side there has to be a self-governance of the information put out on the
public forum, as any incorrect information would be spread as fluidly as a correct one. Some
uses of blogging areImproves writing skills- Blogging is expressing and sharing your view point, which
automatically improves your writing skills.
Solution Provider- Since, blogger can be used as a platform for sharing your view
points, one can also reach to a solution for his/her problem by posting in the blog and
knowing others point of view and reach the best possible solution.
Increases knowledge-Via blogging, one can find information related to any topic and
at any place at any time, which is a good and easy way to increase knowledge.
Money- Blogging is an easy way of earning money by promotion of products and
Social Media- Blogs are one of the best ways to communicate with people all over the
world and know each other’s point of view. Hence, blogging increases social network
of people as they get to interact with people from all over the world.
Hobby- People with reading and writing as a hobby are more into writing the blogs.
These people create their own blogs.
3. Discussion forums
A discussion forum or an internet forum is an online site of discussion where people can
embrace discussion and talks onmessages that are posted. Here discussions are held on
specific conversation sets, popularly known as a thread. Blogs and discussion forums are
similar in many aspects, but the major difference between them is that discussion forums is
primarily a shared community space, where individual voices are not lent any space for their
self. Blogs on the one hand provide a platform for individual expression and support reader
commentary and critique, whereas discussion forums have a predilection towards the voice of
the group. (Benford, 2008)
This is very useful tool when views from varied personalities and groups are needed over
some common aspect. An example of it could be a discussion relating to the path to be taken
ahead in a scientific research, where people related to it, across the globe, discuss and suggest
future course of action.
Forums are an important tool for creating a knowledge forum as human experience says that
discussions always lead to a deeper insight on the aspect and also creates never thought
before aspects into it.
A problem with discussion forums is the difference between the opinions of people giving
rise to a conflagration of posts aimed at individual replies and persons. Also there is the
problem of the discussion pulling apart towards various directions and ending up in a circular
discussion wherein they arrive to the point of discussion where they started off.
But, nevertheless the knowledge base that discussion forums create, with the active
participation of personnel all around related to it, and cannot be undermined.
3.1 Uses and Advantages of Discussion Forums
In today’s competitive and fast paced world, it’sparamount for businesses to develop ways to
attract more and more visitors for their websites, retaining them and improving the websites'
One tool that can help achieve these objectives is a forum or discussion board, and today
these have become some of the most popular ways of engaging and interacting with others
Discussion forums can be a great addition to any website. Some of the uses and advantages of
discussion forums areContent-It generates fresh content, as many people contribute to the forums; add new
posts and replies to the already existing posts generate new and fresh ideas.
Increase Sales- At the first stage of customer buying cycle, discussion forums play an
Visitor Retention- New and fresh topics give the visitors a reason to visit the page
again and again, so forums are a great platform for visitor retention.
Market Research- Forums allows you direct contact with the customers and this
allows you to know the customers point of view and demand, which indirectly helps
as a market research tool.
Community Building- Like blogs, forums also provide a platform to interact with
people and create relationships within overlapping industries.
Individualization of learning- Discussion forums are not time bound and length
bound. Individuals have the freedom to put their point in any number of ways.
Flexibility and convenience- Discussion forums can be accessed from any place and
at any time, and are not limited to certain time period.
More democratic exchange- In a discussion in class, we are limited to a number of
students but in a discussion forum, there can be any number of people involved in the
discussion, and hence more interaction with the people worldwide.
4. Blogs and discussion forums as knowledge forums
Today, in the Tech savvy world, no one searches to dusty library to find information on a
topic. There has been a huge transition from the hard copy research to electronic way of
research. Knowledge sharing can be taken in different forms depending on the type of
information and the way of information is to be presented. Over a decade, there has been a
growth in use of blogs, discussion forums, wikis and micro blogs.
Blogs, discussion forums, wikis, etc, all provide a way or platform where anyone can share
and present their view point in any number of ways and at any time.
Because of the ease of use, they allow companies with limited IT budget to rapidly set up a
web presence and establish a contact with customers. This allows companies to tailor and
change their product and services according to the customer needs. Also, companies are using
blogs and discussion forums as medium of communication and feedback from customers.
Blogs have become a very popular media for the deployment of advertising. Many companies
are using it as a platform for marketing. A great example of this is the constant banners that
can be seen in Facebook, from events like concerts to charity organizations, games, and ads
by SMEs. It must be noted that although websites like Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn are
not blogging websites per se, they offer blogging features. This is a similarity between blogs
and discussion forums; their role within the structure of the site can be absolute, or they can
be just a feature of the site, with importance ranging from vital to trivial.
5. Challenges, Recommendations and Conclusion
The number one challenge that Web 2.0 knowledge sharing tools such as blogs, discussion
forums, wikis, and microblogs face is the willingness of people to adopt them. Even though
these technologies enjoy a healthy user base thanks to websites like Facebook, MySpace,
LinkedIn, and Twitter, there is still many people who are hesitant to adopt new technology.
True success for future technologies will come not only from making sure they are adopted
by users of current knowledge sharing solutions, but also from recruiting those that usually
do not participate in virtual sharing of knowledge.
A further challenge for these knowledge sharing technologies is the digital divide. For these
technologies to truly become global, their supporting platform, the internet, must become
global first. Data from the International Telecommunication Union shows that in the year
2007, sixty two percent of the population of the developed world had access to internet, while
in the developing world the percentage was 17%. This means that if you work for a company
in the developed world and you have branches, subsidiaries, etc. in the developing world,
implementing one of these four tools will not have the same return on investment in
underdeveloped regions.(Blogs, Wikis, and Discussion Forums, 2009)
Moderation- Whenever you open up a public forum or discussion board then you are
going to have to think about moderation.
Spam- Like the majority of things on the internet, a forum is just an open target for any
spammer because if your forum gets big then it could have some weight in Google (and
other search engines). So it's vital to consider how you will deal with this before it
becomes a problem for you.
Kick starting your forum- It can be difficult at first to attract visitors to your forum. An
empty forum basically has no hope of attracting people that participate. People need to see
content and be able to explore topics. Creating all this content can be a lot of work and
Establishing a discussion forum can take some initial time and effort but once people start
contributing to the discussion, you'll start to see the benefits that your forum is bringing to
your business, and the time and effort needed to maintain it will seem less and less each time
you see your traffic and profits going up.(visitor, 2011)
Security is another challenge that these technologies face. As more and more people adopt
wireless solutions, security has become a vastly underestimated problem within non-IT
experts. With the incremental improvements to hacking technology that we have seen lately,
the fast adoption of wireless devices could be a major problem in the not-to-distant future. If
people eventually reach a point where they vacillate over the use of wireless, services like
Facebook and Twitter will suffer a significant decline in their traffic volume.(Blogs, Wikis,
and Discussion Forums, 2009)
In summary, blogs can be treated as a virtual classroom wherein people can share their own
knowledge which would help person gain knowledge, and thus setting up a knowledge flow.
Also discussion forum create a platform for active discussion about some common topic and
creating a knowledge base into it with their opinions and replies.
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