Southwest Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Information Headquarters

Website, and Facebook, and BLOG Oh my!

Posted by Pat O'Hea on May 2, 2011 9:30:00 AM

I will do my best to take some of the mystery out of some of the communication tools that have popped up on the Internet in recent years.

BLOG is a funny word that has worked it’s way into our vocabulary Blogin the past few years. The word blog comes from a conjunction of the words WEB and LOG then the words were shortened to just BLOG. The word blog can be either a verb or a noun, as in “I am going to blog today”. Or “I am writing in my blog”.

The blog has its roots set in the computer bulletin boards that were setup in the 80s and 90s. These bulletin boards were generally text posts at technical sites but they evolved into more personal and immediate “diaries” that can also include video, images, and music.

I like to give a frame of a known reference when explaining what a blog is to non-technical people. I like to use the printing analogy- so a BLOG is basically an online diary that is easy to update on a regular basis. As with most things on the web it has been co-opted into the commercial realm and has become more of a newsletter than a diary.

People can subscribe to a blog and they can add their own comments. Usually a blog has one editor or author updating it on a regular basis.

What is Facebook? Well that’s a bit different. Facebook is more Facebooklike a yearbook. It’s a place where all of your friends can come together to leave messages, chat (I’ll discuss more of that later on), and post photos etc. In order for you to get accepted as a Facebook friend, you must first request that someone friend (used as a verb) you. Once your friend gives the OK, you become their friend (a noun). After that you can see everyone and everything on your new friend’s facebook account. It is very useful for school reunions, keeping up with old friends and leaving obnoxious benign post’s like “I am making a PB and J and loving it”. People can post nearly anything to it and it is updated immediately.

Now we come to the website. Most people have used a website Websiteby now. Even my 75 year or mother uses the internet to go to the Mayo Clinic address. Websites are more like a book. In most cases they are rarely updated so the site is fairly static. Creating a website is usually not cheap and it requires someone with some basic knowledge of the computer code that the internet runs on called html (hyper text markup language for those of you who want to impress your friends). Although websites are becoming cheaper to create and the programs used to create them are becoming more user friendly, they are slowly losing their appeal as people migrate to social networking sites like facebook and blogs.

So to summarize the printing analogy

  1. The website is like a book – fewer changes, not immediate and push information at the user.
  2. Facebook and other social networking sites like Myspace are like yearbooks or school newspapers. You have to be part of a group or someone must accept you into their online “club” The statements you post on Facebook are immediate
  3. BLOGs are usually like diaries although they are also used by businesses to educate online users.
  4. One term I tried to ignore but couldn’t because I told you I would talk about it is Chat or chatting (verb). Chatting reminds me of those notes you sent back and forth in history class in high school. So there- Chatting is sending notes back and forth.

If you have learned anything from this – good for you. If this has only made things more confusing well…that makes two of us

Topics: physical therapy