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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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A new must read

I don’t know Guy Hagen, but I must say I am impressed with him.

Guy is the president of Innovation Insight, a Florida company that specializes in technology development and research consulting. He has a great post on military and new media communication. I’d encourage that you read it.

I am not sure I fall in line with his thinking 100%. For example, I think that the recruiters are way ahead of the rest of the military on new media adoption; the use of web 2.0 to help with recruiting is at the bottom of his list, almost as an afterthought. Also, I am not sure that the Pentagon’s approach to new media (where and when it does) is quite at the level of “strategic PR” as Guy suggests.

But his writing is great and you can tell this guy is smart. On top of that, he knows how to talk to bloggers and what makes a good pitch.

Intel2.0 is now on my reading list.

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From AP (via Breit Bart):

DENVER (AP) – Maj. Andrew Olmsted’s “Final Post” was published online—after the Rocky Mountain News blogger was killed in Iraq. Olmsted died Thursday with another soldier, Capt. Thomas J. Casey, 32, of Albuquerque, when rebels attacked with small arms near Sadiyah, the military said.

Olmsted, who began writing for the News on May 21 and described himself as a libertarian, had written what he called “Final Post” about his death. He asked a friend to post it on his Web site AndrewOlmsted.com if he died in Iraq.

In it, Olmsted, 37, warned against making his death an argument for or against the war.

“My life isn’t a chit to be used to bludgeon people to silence on either side,” he wrote. “I have my own opinions about what we should do about Iraq, but since I’m not around to expound on them I’d prefer others not try and use me as some kind of moral capital to support a position I probably didn’t support.”

He also quoted Plato as saying “only the dead have seen the end of war.”

“The news is devastating,” News Editor John Temple said. “The major was a brave man who obviously thrived on sharing his experiences and thoughts on his blog. He provided a perspective on Iraq that would have been impossible for a journalist. Our thoughts are with his wife, family and unit.”

The Department of Defense said Olmsted and Casey were assigned to the Military Transition Team, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kan.

Olmsted leaves behind his wife of 10 years, Amanda Wilson, of Colorado Springs.

“Believe it or not, one of the things I will miss most is not being able to blog any longer,” Olmsted wrote. “The ability to put my thoughts on (virtual) paper and put them where people can read and respond to them has been marvelous, even if most people who have read my writings haven’t agreed with them. If there is any hope for the long term success of democracy, it will be if people agree to listen to and try to understand their political opponents rather than simply seeking to crush them.”

Maj. Olmsted also blogged on the Rocky Mountain News Web site.

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Weblogs a decade old

Dear Pentagon,

I think these “weblog” thing that the kids are talking about on the Inter-tubes are catching on.

From BBC:

The word “weblog” celebrates the 10th anniversary of it being coined on 17 December 1997.

The word was created by Jorn Barger to describe what he was doing with his pioneering Robot Wisdom web page.

The word was an abbreviation for the “logging” of interesting “web” sites that Mr Barger featured on his regularly updated journal.

A decade on and blog-watching firm Technorati reports it is tracking more than 70 million web logs.

These things might be here to stay…

h/t: Smart Mobs

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