Tech Teach: Blogs vs. Online Magazines

As you know, we launched AOE as the first “Online Magazine” for Art Educators a few weeks ago! It’s been an amazing few weeks, thanks to everyone for your positive feedback!

As a result of this change, some of you may be wondering: What exactly is an online magazine? How is it different from a blog?  How is it different from a traditional magazine?  In efforts to keep you up with the latest and greatest in the tech world, I will try to shed some light (It’s not that complicated) so you understand the important differences.

What are Blogs? 

Early blogs were just an abbreviation of “web log,”  They were simple records of people’s thoughts and interests. They were the equivalent of keeping a simple online diary.  Usually blogs are posted by one author, and focus on that person’s account of a particular topic. Sometimes blogs will have guest posts by other writers, but usually blogs are authored by a single person or small team.

What are Online Magazines?

Online magazines are the newest way for people to get a lot of content, in one place, from a variety of authors. It’s a very young online model.  As with traditional print magazines, they tend to be a mix of news, opinion, feature articles, reviews, interviews and case studies.  Online magazines have a team of writers who are carefully chosen.  Also like traditional magazines, online magazines also have editors (I serve as editor for AOE) who curates and edits the content in the best interest of the reader and the site’s purpose.

An online magazine isn’t the same as a traditional magazine with an online viewing option. That is a digital version of an existing publication that only comes out once a month, and you usually have to pay. You also may hear of Ezines, which are a collection of articles published online in one download periodically, but neither of these models is what we are truly talking about.

So Why Does This Matter to You?

AOE’s Online magazines benefits you because it’s more instantaneous. You can stop by daily, weekly, or monthly to read the articles. We can keep you up to date with issues that matter to you, (no waiting a year for editorail approval) Speaking of that, I am working on an article for a professional art ed journal and I think I submitted it 2 years ago and it’s now getting ready for publication.  Although a very cool experience, Seriously? 2 Years? I hope the information is still relevant… This just affirms our quest keep you up with what is current on a daily basis. Best of all, our writers are available to answer your questions, and have a conversation on the spot about the topic. And it’s not stuffy. It’s Real. Candid. Sometimes Silly. Always Ridiculously Relelvant.

Many other genres are already jumping on the “Online Magazine” bandwagon, but we are the first in Art Ed. It’s fun to see people who are passionate about a particular topic come together and unite into one cause.

What types of articles are you looking for in your “Daily Dose” of Art Ed?

We are also planning some theme weeks in the future.

Give us your suggestions in the comments!



Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is the Founder and President at AOE. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.


  • I don’t see the difference between this site and a blog. You can have multiple contributors to a blog, too. I like what you guys post, but this seems like kind of a stretch…

    • Derek Balsley

      I see it a bit differently, Janine. The software that runs blogs and other similar sites is called a content management system – it’s a really a tool for doing one thing… providing an efficient way to publish dynamic (as opposed to static) content to the web. The form that content (and site) takes is up to the creator. Sometimes blogs, other times online magazines, other times product review sites. 

      Blogs (web logs) were the first type of sites to use these Content Management Systems, but, that is changing rapidly in the world of online publishing. Take a look at a few sites like for technology, for web/design, for social media, etc. Would you say they’re blogs or online magazines? To me, they’re clearly more than a personal web-log… like AOE, they have have a writing team, like AOE they have a curator/editor, like AOE they post content daily or more, as opposed to once or twice a week…. and so on.

      The world is changing so fast… Video Blogs are becoming online TV channels, Blogs are becoming online magazines, forums are becoming full-fledged social networks, etc. It’s hard to keep up with it all. 

      Maybe it doesn’t feel like a magazine, because there’s no monthly subscription fee? Now that’s one feature of a magazine I can live without! Plus, the articles are posted, daily, live, and include the ability to interact directly with the writers… things traditional magazines can’t really offer. 

      At any rate, there are lots of ways of looking at it, and whatever you call it… I think we agree that AOE is pretty darn cool!  ;)

      P.S. if you want to read a bit more, here are some humorous/interesting articles on the topic.

  • Ms. Novak

    At this point the line between a blog and an on-line magazine is pretty small – there seems, at this point, to be more in common then different — however, I do feel that AOE is an online magazine for the following reasons:
    – The content is varied not only in subject, but also use.  For example – I have an art room blog – I blog about what goes on in my room day to day.  Most times this is lessons and projects with a little bit of soap boxing here and there.  AOE has less of that and more of topics that help me become more organized, more efficient, and helps me to think past my lessons.  
    — A more professional feel.  I am not talking about how awesome this site looks – but rather how it is written and how all subjects are approached.  On my blog it is very casual – where AOE writes articles and posts videos in a more professional setting.
    – The mix of writers can happen on a blog, but most times it is to keep up with each other socially where in this case a variety of writers is used to bring a more diverse and frequent article load.

    As Jessica pointed out in her post – this is a very YOUNG model.  On-line magazines are very new and very different from typical magazines, as Derek pointed out.  I think as on-line magazines start to become more mainstream – it will be easier to see the difference.

    • Thanks, Amanda and others! I appreciate your insights and support. It’s been a fun adventure and we aim to please!

  • Claracrosby

    I absolutely love the switch to the online magazine format vs. the blog.  It has taken AOE to a new level of professional journalism.  Keep up the good work, AOE team!!

  • AOE is an amazing resource no matter which way you look at it or what you call it. With that said,  multiple writers, edited content, and a beautiful layout all put it into a magazine category for me! 

  • Cboggs73

    Call AOE whatever you want… I love it and will continue reading it next school year. I only wish I had
    discovered it months ago! The past school year might have been just a little less crazy for me.