Mknac’s Weblog

Diving into the shallow pool of Web 2.0 and Social Media head first!

Milblogs; From the front to your PC

I’ve looked at several milbogs over the last couple days and have been generally impressed with the writing and coverage of diverse issues.  If you are looking for information about what’s going on try the perspective of one of our soldiers.  Its certainly different than what the media is telling you.

 

Coverage of conflict zones has changed significantly since WWI and the new globally connected Internet era that we live in has changed how we get information about the conflict in the Middle East and else where significantly. Unlike WWI during WWII the combat photographer and other government motion and still photographers brought the front lines to the home front during the war.  In Vietnam you saw a shift from government combat photographers to media reporters in the battlefield such as Dan Rather for example.

 

Now in 2008 although the media attempts to cover the war there are certain things and dangerous areas that they choose not to cover.  In many areas bloggers are filling in these gaps.  Military bloggers are covering stories, areas, and other topics that weren’t even considered during the Persian Gulf War of the 1990s.  The landscape of reporting from the front lines has changed due to blogging.

 

Milblogs is the term used for service members who blog.  Using web 2.0 and other social media platforms today’s soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines are blogging about their experiences in the military and specifically about their tours of duty in combat zones such as Iraq.  The old war news reels that were shown to audiences in movie theaters helped to promote the agenda of the nation and kept everyone informed about what was going on in the European and Pacific theaters.  News from the government, for the government and by the government was the generally the way of the times although the press certainly did their share of reporting also.  It is also important to remember that in WWII news was always delayed by from several days to several weeks.  Vietnam had a much quicker turn around but sometimes stories were still delayed a day or today.

 

Today in the era of global Internet-based communications news from the war zone is available almost as soon and soldiers return from a mission.  Military bloggers are bringing stories of the conflicts the U.S. is engaged into the homes of anybody with a computer and Internet connection.  If you are interested there many milblogs to choose from and new milbogs coming online every day. These bloggers are going out and conducting dangerous missions and then blogging about them soon after their return.  These bloggers sometimes include photos and video that they took.

 

I think this level of interaction with our service members is good for our country.  It is important that those of us not in the military and not engaged in the conflict remain connected to those who wear our nation’s uniform.  The public needs to know what is really going on in these areas and who is better positioned to tell you than those on the ground where the rubber meets the road?  Additionally an added benefit is that blogging allows soldiers to stay in touch with their families and friends giving them and us insight to what daily life is like is like in the sandbox.

 

Some milbogs if you’re interested:

American Soldier 

The Long War Journal 

Kaboom: A Soldier’s War Journal

The Thunder Run 

Army of Dude

July 21, 2008 Posted by | social media | , , , , | Leave a comment

Exposed – does podcast viewing say anything about you?

Hmm well we’ve got to write about the podcasts I listen to / watch. Perhaps I should lie? Since social media and blogs are about being real I’ll tell the truth. I’ve actually been all over podcasts for some time. I only really watch two podcasts regularly. I tried many such as Rocketboom etc when there was some buzz still attached to it but found its pinko commie leftist BS to be a bit much. Bottom line here is I feel so bombarded by news that by the end of the day I’m not really looking for more news when I get home. Or maybe better said I’m only looking for news I’m interested in. Also with podcasts and particularly audio only podcasts if I don’t get hooked within the first 5-10 seconds I don’t have the tolerance to listen for 5 minutes to find out what its about. With a blog you can quickly determine if you want to keep reading. My podcast viewing is really limited to entertainment.

Tiki Bar TV

My favorite is Tiki Bar TV. This comedy podcast is great and is produced monthly. The acting, camera angles and scripts are first class. I must warn potential viewers that like all things comedy some episodes are better than others. When they are on you’ll have tears coming out of your eyes because you’re laughing so hard. Other times you could say their humor goes over your head. It focuses on three people in a tiki bar in an apartment. Some problem always arises and the resident doctor prescribes a custom cocktail. Everyone drinks the cocktail and the problem is solved — just like in real life.

Hot for Words

My other guilty pleasure is Hot for Words staring Marina. This podcast produces a new episode a couple times a week. It’s one of the most downloaded podcasts on You Tube, so I read. For those who don’t know, Marina is philologist; someone who studies linguistics and etymology. In each show Marina discusses the history and meaning of a word submitted by her viewers. On the surface that sounds pretty boring. However Marina is a pretty blond from Russia. Using her good looks, accent, personality and humor she’s hit a market for sure based on the number of downloads. As we discussed in class most of the popular podcasts seem to have a pretty lady associated with them.

I do catch some other random podcasts and those associated with the sports teams I follow. There are so many webpages, blogs and podcasts to view and limited time. What to do and why would anybody turn to a ninja for non-ninja advice?

June 14, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 2 Comments