Greetings TONMOers -- I'd like to introduce you to our new Blog feature, which I consider an experiment unless and until it gets some meaningful usage. I like to think we'll get there. The ability to create your own blog is something new to TONMO.com in recent months, but it hasn't been formally announced or explained - so here goes: Anyone who is a TONMO.com Supporter may create a blog. (Not a Supporter? Become one now, for any number of good reasons.) So, what's the difference between a blog entry and a forum thread? The truth is that you can use either one to express yourself and your ideas as they pertain to cephalopods -- there are no hard and fast rules on this -- but here are some things to consider: Similarities between blog posts and forum threads: - both allow the ability to write freely, include smilies, create "tags", polls, and attach images - both allow replies, although blog replies are termed "comments" and appear indented at the bottom of a blog post, whereas on a forum thread, all posts appear more or less in the same format (including the seed post). Differences between blog posts and forum threads: - in a blog, you can organize your posts in any number of categories, but not in forum threads - you can customize the look and feel of your blog (e.g., background color, images, sidebar contents, layout, etc.), but you can't do that in forum threads - you can create custom pages for your blog, but you can't do that in a forum thread Think of a blog as more of a personal soapbox, whereas forum threads are better for more balanced discussions with other TONMO.com members. There are certain subtle differences that may make using one treatment better than the other, depending on your situation, style, and what you want to share on a given topic. For more reading on this, here is a good article explaining the difference between blogs and forums. Again, we have no "rules" (beyond our standard forum guidelines) about which path you choose to go down, but I encourage you to try authoring a blog post if you think the conditions are right. Personally, I think the most compelling uses for blogs are for people who own their own tank(s) and want to share their ceph's diaries and journals. Or, someone who has a ceph-related collection could post pictures and descriptions of their possessions in a series of blog posts. Or, maybe you want to post up your reviews of movies you've seen that have a cephy theme. Perhaps you want to do all of these things -- all of which would work within your own blog, under separate categories to keep everything neat and organized. So far, I've created one blog for myself, which is where I will post announcements about TONMO.com (such as this) going forward. I've already created a few entries since the start of the new year. The rest of TONMO.com Staff is considering how (and whether) they'll make use of the new blog feature. If you're inspired and interested, give it a try!