A friend has just asked me what's the difference between a blog and a website. Until today I never had a problem answering. A new Blogger feature has thrown a spanner in the works. But more of that later.
There are probably three things that distinguish a blog from a website:
1. Personality - blogs are personal. They can be instructive, educational, entertaining, useful, annoying or (often) pointless, they belong to somebody and are a reflection of who they are. Perez Hilton's celebrity blog is a case in point.
2. Interactivity - some blogs are conversational. Some are controversial. Some are funny or sad, and some, like The Pencil Sharpener are a source of information, expertise, entertainment and discussion. Even The Drudge report which at first glance looks like a random collection of links, relies heavily on involvement from visitors who suggest relevant articles for posting on the site.
3. Navigation - Blog posts are displayed chronologically, with the newest item first. Until recently this, the use of tags or labels, and an archive feature were usually all the tools you were offered to find your way around.
Peter Sands, fellow Pencil Sharpener blogger, has brought to my attention the new 'pages' gadget on Blogger. We can (and will) now add some extra navigation to specific pages or themes. Is this the beginning of the end of the static, stand alone website as we know it?