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Articles vs Forum

On my network, members are confused between Articles vs Forum. Are there any guidance on when to use what?

I earlier thought that Articles could be used as wiki documents - where multiple members can edit the article - very much like google docs. Appears that Ning does not support it.

In that case are their any guidance on when to use Articles and when to use Forum

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  • I see one difference is Author Bio and other difference is excerpt. I do not know how these two features are being used in other networks.

    • Hi Naveen,

      There is no guidance how you can use articles on your network, for example, you can use the articles feature like the announcement for your network, or you can grant the permission to write articles only to several most experienced people who are able to share some interesting ideas or facts with the other. In my personal opinion, it's all about your imagination and necessity of this module on your network. If you cannot see how you can use this feature at this time so probably there is no need to use it at all on your network and it simply not suitable for your purposes.

      Best regards,


  • Hi Naveen

    Forums are generally used to start up discussions like we are doing here on Creators as this is a forum.

    Articles are very much like blogs in the way they look but with a few little differences.

    When you create a blog, in the list page of blogs and in the detail section you get information about who posted it, time date etc and members can comment on the blog.


    Articles do not show the posters information unless they add a bio, more on this in the next part, so Articles are great for using them as site guides, help files or something general. So let's say you want to create a help guide an Article page would be used for this and you would create a new article for each help guide, you can turn off the comments if you wish and set it to only admins can add any articles.

    Author Bio

    This is available in blogs as well. The Author bio if enabled allows the member to add some more information about themselves in the bio. By default it will just show the members Avatar and posted by name at the Bottom of the post only in the main blog detail page, nothing will show about who posted it in the list page.. Whatever get's added to the bio will display on all articals posted by that member and also in blogs bio if that was enabled to. One thing to remember is that if you change the bio this will change in all the members other posts, it is NOT unique to that post.

    The best thing to do is create a test page for blogs and articles then add some information into them and you will better see how they differ.


    In blogs and article pages when you create a post you have the main content box and a box underneath called excerpt. You add your main content in the top box and if you did not add anything in the excerpt box this content is what would be displayed in the blogs List Page. Now let's suppose it was quite a long blog and you may wish to add a smaller description about the blog to be displayed on the List Page so you would add something in the excerpt part and this is what would be displayed in the list page.

    So let's say you have written a long blog about animals in a zoo and as the blog is about lot's of different animals you could add an excerpt to add a description about the blog to display in the List Page. So rather than the text of the main content showing you may write something like this in the excerpt, " Check out this great blog about animals in the zoo" and this is what would be displayed in the list page.

    The thing to remember is if anything get's added to the excerpt box this is what get's shown in the blog list page not the main content. Of course the main content is there and when they open the blog they will see it.

    Hope that helps

    John :-)

  • Thanks for your detailed response
  • Forums imply a discussion area, blogs imply a member publishing application, and articles imply a more formal publishing of content representative of a site or group's theme.

    You might check with JFarrow on the Google applications as he has a lot of experience integrating them with Ning site experiences.

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Some interesting articles related to community management, digital marketing etc. could be found in our digest. Don't hesitate to leave a feedback so we would know that we should continue :-)

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