Both a wiki and a blog are places you can find information about a topic you are interested in, as well as where you can share your own knowledge about a specific topic. But what are some of the differences between a blog and a wiki?
Blogs and wikis share many attributes but they do have some major differences. They both have organization principles and try to present quality information.
However the difference between them are largely about ownership and management, as well as the type of content they contain.
Blogs and wikis own and share information in different ways.
Blog vs Wiki – Ownership
A blog typically belongs to one department in a company. The marketing department is likely to own the brand’s blog and run it along with other marketing initiatives.
A group of individuals who have the necessary skills for writing and marketing will write articles and post them on the company’s blog.
Others in the company can contribute their expertise when necessary, so the bloggers are able to get the best information and write accurate blog posts. The owners or authors of the blog are usually responsible for any edits or updates.
Wikis are not the same though. They tend to crowd-source in order to get their information. This means they are ‘owned’ by whoever is contributing to their knowledge-filled libraries.
Edits and updates can be entrusted to somebody senior in the organization, such as the director of HR for example, although everyone has some responsibility for keeping the wiki up to date and tidy.
Blog vs Wiki – Content
Wikis and blogs differ when you are looking at the form, time-sensitivity and nature of what happens to be on each site. Blogs are typically created to drive visitors to your website and then get them to sign up, or maybe buy a product or service.
Most of blogs are aimed toward potential visitors, and although they often use information from other sources, they are liable to present the information in such a way as to attract business, rather than offering impartial facts.
This is not to say you can’t trust what you read on a blog, but it is important to understand that some blog content is, or might be, opinion-based or presented in a way to increase the credibility of the blog owner’s company.
Blog owners can respond in real time to blog posts whenever they were created, if there are any new developments, events or products, and this can include journalistic writing such as op-eds, or they can update their blog content.
The same is not true of a wiki. Because it is meant for internal use and doesn’t contain editorialized content such as opinion pieces, it is not the same as a blog.
A wiki will have a topic encyclopedia rather than have an author’s ‘voice’ or other intentions behind the posts. Wikis present the facts rather than commenting on the facts or delivering any opinions on them.
Blogs are usually approachable and friendly in tone, while wiki content is presented in a more informative and straightforward manner, and is typically more formally written.
A well written wiki post tends to be done procedurally, only containing up to date, factual knowledge.
Blog vs Wiki – Management
There are different approaches to choose from depending on whether you are managing a blog or a wiki, and getting this right means getting the best results from each. They both vary in how they are managed and run.
A blog offers individual articles which are SEO-optimized to attract visitors. This means a blog needs an individual or a team who can provide editing as well as copy editing, and perhaps also implementing content strategy.
Staying with one specific editorial process usually results in a well-managed blog, so it is seamless and clear that all the articles offered share a similar style.
Although it is possible for one blog to use multiple content writers and/or editors or SEO specialists, the content should all look and read like it belongs there, in terms of both style and relevance.
Once articles are published on blogs, they do not require much updating. It is possible of course to archive them later on, or to go back into posts and alter them if anything needs to be changed, or if you want to add something SEO-wise.
However, managing a blog is mainly about what happens before and during publishing, and then most content is left unchanged.
A wiki is different in that it needs frequent maintenance and updating to each page after publication. This is because new information comes out about wiki topics, so the pages need to be updated to reflect these changes.
If you are managing a wiki page about, for example, a popular band, and then the band releases a new song, or adds a new member, or something else relevant happens, you will need to update the page on your wiki concerning the band, in order to keep it up to date and useful.
Both blogs and wikis need diligently linked articles. Cross-linked articles do well on blogs and is good for SEO, while linking to other entries on a wiki can make the whole wiki more coherent and allow users to easily find more information.
Benefits of a Company Blog
Now you know the differences between wikis and blogs, you might be wondering which is best for your company or, because they are so different and each have their own merits, whether running both might be the best idea.
It is a fact that businesses with their own dedicated blog get 97% more links to their website than ones who do not. A readership of nearly 32 million is forecast for 2020 for US bloggers.
It takes time to build a blog, as well as dedication, but the returns can be incredible.
A company blog is believed to have more long-term ROI than traditional marketing methods, and having a blog can result in 67% more leads than not having one.
Benefits of a Company Wiki
So what about a wiki? Well, this is also important, not only to help bring in sales but also to keep your company up to date regarding relevant knowledge.
A wiki can benefit individuals in the company just as much as benefitting those from outside the company who are reading it.
Although the wiki will likely be run by the Head of HR, other staff will contribute towards keeping it current, factual and up to date.
An internal wiki solution can reduce the repetition and number of questions, by having FAQs and company data listed in one place.
It allows for process and strategy information, and other documents, to be stored somewhere everyone can access.
A wiki can help get rid of departmental silos. Over time it can save money, functioning as somewhere everything is true and factual, and something that all employees can access at any time if they have a question or need to know a specific fact or piece of data.
The bigger and better you want your blog or wiki to be, the more hours you are going to have to put in and the more it will cost, but if it comes with cost savings or a big ROI boost, it might be well worth it.
Both are content management systems which can work hard to help you achieve goals.
So Should a Business Use a Blog or a Wiki?
Now you know the differences between blogs and wikis, you will see how having both can benefit a company.
A blog is a great instrument to demonstrate your company’s knowledge and attract visitors which hopefully convert into leads.
A wiki allows knowledge sharing and can be an important part of the organizational strategy of your company.
Both blogs and wikis are important as ways of presenting knowledge, and this could be attracting potential buyers via a blog, or pooling your company’s resources to make an internal wiki.
Both are about sharing knowledge, and this can only benefit the future of your business.