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Archive for the ‘Blogs’ Category

How not to communicate

Great shot by Michael Yon. He is one of the best. If you aren’t reading him (and/or contributing to his continued journalistic efforts), you should be.

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It seems like…

The Army Web Risk Assessment Cell has some new toys with which to track blogs.

Anyone from AWRAC wish to share? I’d love to hear more…

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Under the category of new-to-me-milblogs, check out fewl.net, a blog written by a sailor stationed in Japan.

One of my favorites is his redacted blog post, poking fun at blog censorship:

Fewl

The rest is just as good. You won’t be disappointed.

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Color me impressed, Navy

As a former Army guy, it usually gives me great pains to give props to the Navy.

Not this time.

I’ve got to say that I am thoroughly impressed with an official blog started aboard a U.S. Navy destroyer. The Destroyermen is a blog written by crew members who want to give a realistic, unvarnished view of what life is like on this ship. From their mission statement:

Here it is:

To deliver an authentic, unvarnished, informative and entertaining account of life aboard a U.S. Navy destroyer, report on USS RUSSELL’s contribution to the Global War on Terror and execution of America’s Maritime Strategy, and provide insight into the character of the American Sailor.

Our first objective is to offer a true-to-life picture of what American Sailors do day in and day out aboard a warship, in port and at sea. There are, after all, more blogs out there detailing life of the ground-pounding variety than you can shake a cat-o-nine-tails at, but precious few that tell about American Sailors at sea.

Second, most Americans know few if any members of the military and little more about the military than its general role in society. So, one way to think of this blog is an unofficial civil-military relations project keeping the West Virginia miners, Montana ranchers, Iowa farmers and Boston software developers up to speed on what their Navy’s all about.

Third, we hope to provide insight into the U.S. Navy’s participation in the Global War on Terror and execution of America’s Maritime Strategy. To date, the Army and Marines have been grabbing all the headlines (both good and bad), and there’s been scant reporting about what the Navy’s been up to for the last six years. From the Philippine Sea to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Gulf, we’re in it up to our main trucks and somebody’s got to tell the story.

And that it does. The blog features great photos of what is going on aboard the ship. One of the interesting trends is a series called “Eye Candy for Sailors,” which shows pictures of the cool things sailors do on the job.

It works because it is authentic. It’s got a real voice.

The other services have some catching up to do, it looks like…

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What a better way to shill for your new media practice than with a YouTube video?

In all seriousness, OSD has made some major strides in terms of use of online communications in the last two years. Perhaps the Pentagon’s greatest success is the way it has leveraged online video content — making it accessible through the Pentagon Web site, and more importantly, sharable through online channels with embeddable code and YouTube placement.

(hotel tango: Marshall Manson, my Edel-colleague formerly of DC fame, now blazing a trail across the pond in London.)

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Want to read blogs that are getting blocked by the US Air Force? Here are two ways to circumvent this boneheaded decision:

  • Use RSS. Noah recommended this approach, and it works well. He also notes a shortcoming; embedded images, audio and video will not get through, only text. Noah mentioned Feed Deamon and Google Reader. Others readers include Omea, Bloglines and Newsgator.
  • Visit the blog through a proxy server. A proxy server redirects your request to visit a site to get around a firewall. Some popular ones are Invisible Surfing and Hide My Ass. I haven’t tested this out on the USAF firewall, but it should work. If someone can confirm, I’d appreciate it.

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Stupid move, USAF

But great reporting from Noah.

The Air Force is tightening restrictions on which blogs its troops can read, cutting off access to just about any independent site with the word “blog” in its web address. It’s the latest move in a larger struggle within the military over the value — and hazards — of the sites.  At least one senior Air Force official calls the squeeze so “utterly stupid, it makes me want to scream.”

Until recently, each major command of the Air Force had some control over what sites their troops could visit, the Air Force Times reports. Then the Air Force Network Operations Center, under the service’s new “Cyber Command,” took over.

If sunlight is the best disinfectant, hopefully the uproar over this monumentally STUPID decision will reverse the the Air Force’s course of action.

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