How does a blog differ from a wiki?

From LitWiki

Blogging is a personal, light-weight, web publishing tool, allowing web content management with minimal technical knowledge and fuss, empowerment to personal publishers. Blogging is about time-ordered commentary, frequency, brevity, & personality. The significance is around the format - content chunks arranged chronologically and not the content. The defining characteristics are commentary and a sequential chronology. In an open space, blogs offer control and a shield against spamming that mar contributions to usenet and slashdot (Denham).

Wiki is more than just social writing, easy and intuitive web publishing and the ability to do hypertext. There is the potential to anneal joint meaning, synthesize something greater than the direct combination of individual parts, there is the potential for building a community ethos around direct collaboration at the (text) or artifact level. Michael Schrage says The best shared spaces are an invitation to innovation..the prototype or models are driving our processes and learning.. if you do not have a shared space you are not collaborating,'s creating opportunity for others to add value (Denham)!


Interestingly, since both types of website have been in existence approximately the same length of time, the term "blog" is in the online Merriam-Webster dictionary; whereas "wiki" is not.


Some of the earliest bloggers were Justin Hall and Brad Fitzpatrick who began posting in online journals in 1994. In 1997, Jorn Barger came up with the term "weblog", which was shortened to blog in 1999 by Peter Merhoz. Also, in 1997, there were only around one hundred blogs; by 2005, there were over fifty million. The blog of today grew from the online diary where people kept an play-by-play account of their lives.


Wiki came about when Ward Cunningham was trying to come up with a way to have public-knowledge bases readily available. WikiWikiWeb, the first wiki, is named after the Chance RT-52 line of shuttle buses called Wiki Wiki in Honolulu International Airport, Hawaii. The first major technology site was Wikipedia which began in January of 2001. Wiki and Kwiki, a couple of open source wikis, had over a million downloads by 2004.


Both blogs and wikis:

  • Can be trace back to 1994.
  • Are types of content authoring, knowledge sharing, and media-publishing websites.
  • Have many tools to enable blogging and the development of wiki.
  • Have had separate languages spring up around their uses.


Blogs and wikis, because they are different spaces, manifest/take advantage of/engage different epistemic and rhetorical possibilities and serve different rhetorical and epistemic ends. They engage different rhetorics: one topical, carved from the inside out; the other chronological, staying on top of things (Morgan).

Simply put, blogs are about writing for a community and wiki is about writing within or in a community.

The main differences are as follows:

  • Use of time vs. topic-linking to organize the material
  • Ability to directly edit content else created - collaborative vs. individual
  • Use of linking to organize within the context of an ongoing discussion
  • Nature of content publishing (public or private)


A blog is a publicly posted diary or journal that reflects the personality and point of view of the author. In general, blogs are frequently updated, usually have a way of making comments, and are often hyperlinked. Blogs are structured in reverse chronological order and are a commentary about any and all topics by an individual. Blogs sometimes allow commentary, but not revision. Blogs present a uniform point of view and remain in control of the author.

A blog entry normally has the following:

  • Title of the post
  • Body
  • Permalink - the URL of the full, specific entry.
  • Post Date

A blog entry sometimes has the following:

  • Comments
  • Categories/tags - topics the entry covers
  • Pingback and/or trackback - links to alternative sites that mention the entry


A wiki enables documents to be written collectively in an extremely simple markup language using a web browser. A single page in a wiki is referred to as a "wiki page", while the entire body of pages is "the wiki"; in effect, a wiki is actually a very simple, easy-to-use user-maintained database for searching for or even creating information. Title, full-text, and recent changes searches are generally provided.

A wiki consists of an original article written by one person, then other people make edits or contribute new content to the flow of information. A defining aspect of wiki technology is how easy it is for pages to be constructed and revised. Another wiki characteristic is hyperlinks, which are references in hypertext documents to other documents or resources. Anyone within the community may revise already-existing content and most edits can be made in real-time and show up almost immediately online.

Wikis present multiple points of view and can sometimes suffer from vandalism or damage to the site; the wiki philosophy is to undo damage versus the rigor of preventing damage and is called "soft security".

Over time, the differences between blogs and wikis seem to be lessening as more and more bloggers invite input into their blogs and add hyperlinks. Recently a combination of blog and wiki has resulted in a new communication form entitled bliki.


Works Cited