Is a blogging service actually any different to a forum service? In the sense that it is anything that offers an interface for submitting posts... in which case should Forum be renamed something more generic?
I think distinguishing features need to be brought out - " anything that offers an interface for submitting posts" abstracts too far.
A blogging service provides a very simple means for an individual to publish a diary, log, a personal train of thought etc that evolves over time.
Such a service might be the only web presense that an individual has, i.e. becomes just a simple means of (self) publishing online, especially if the blogger removes all options for responses etc.
Because blogging is generally more personal, there are perhaps more issues concerned with security and privacy - e.g. individual posts may have fine-grained access controls.
When we were developing a VLE tool for RAMBLE, we had considered reading in blog content into the structures of the existing discussion room tool in Bodington, as some kind of subset, but we felt it wasn't a good fit.
Hmm, I know there are differences between blogs and forums in their usage as tools, but at a service level, I'm wondering whether there is a real distinction
For example; an Atom call to submit an entry could work the same way regardless of whether the target is a weblog or a forum. The data model is the same: subject, date, author, content. And the operations are the same: create, edit, delete.
The only difference I know of is in structuring; a blog is generally flat, whereas forums support nesting. As far as I know, the Atom spec doesn't concern itself with nested items, although there may be workarounds.
I think the privacy and security issues around blog entries and forum entries are similar; not all fora are public either.
In a forum, the latest reply generally bumps a topic to the top of the list, irrespective of when the original post was made. However, in a blog, replies do not change the order of posts - they always remain with the latest blog owner's post at the top. It is the way that each service handles the chronological display of posts/replies differently that makes the two services distinct.