Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Generating a Buzz

One of the things they talked about at the Milblog conference was the use of blogs and social networking sites to communicate with fellow soldiers, family and civilians who have no connection to the military and how it is up the the military blogger (unless you are strictly writing to a military audience) to write in a way that non-military readers will understand.

Major General Oates uses it to communicate to his soldiers and their families. Other military bloggers use it to communicate the stories and opinions that the main stream media don't tell us. One of the attendees asked the bloggers on one of the panels what they were doing to communicate the stories of veterans from the older wars. This attendee works for some veterans organization and said so many veterans' families would like their veteran's story recorded or told and they don't have enough people to do the oral histories.

I would really like to pursue something like this in my volunteer efforts at the museum. I was thinking about that as I listened to all of the panelists talk on the various subjects. I need to find some time to talk to some people about this. The docents at the museum have some amazing stories and we always have some wonderful veterans visiting. I believe everyone has a story and those stories should be told and shared.

The power of social networking and blogging allows for a quicker dissemination of lessons learned, discussion on lessons learned and formulation through discussion on different options or better solutions. The utilization rate of social networking and blogging from a professional military perspective may become greater as the digital immigrants (the over 45 crowd that didn't grow up with computers) give way to the digital natives (the 20 and 30 somethings that have been gaming and using computers their whole lives). In addition, there have been many newspapers, and broadcast news organizations that have had to cut news staff as ad revenue has dwindled. Many of these writers and photographers may find the outlet they have for their trade is via blogging.

I am by no means a milblogger - - I love to read them because I have always been interested in military stuff, history and current events my whole life. So, milbloggers blog about stuff I like to read. I will admit to feeling like I was crashing the conference. Crashing aside, I got a lot of good information about blogging in general.

My writing is quite poor most times when I write - - has something to do with long hours in front of a computer at my paying job - - where I have to write well. So you guys get a lot of disjointed free flow thought writing sometimes. Um, like now. I got hooked on blogging by a fellow docent, Victory Gal, who when she started blogging about docent training, got selected by Yahoo 360 as an interesting blog for people to check out and ended up getting 70,000 hits in a two week period. Victory Gal got a lot of people excited about the museum. For me, it was kind of a scrapbook of sorts as well as a way to process information I was learning. I've enjoyed sharing my photographs and travel stories with many of you faceless readers. I've also been blessed to have gotten to meet some of my fellow bloggers.

So anyway, I was telling one of my friends about the Dai Do lecture at the museum last week (I will be blogging about it - - when I get some solid writing time) and she told me that it sounded really interesting and had she known about it, she'd have attended. I didn't know my non-military, non-museum friends would be interested in the historic battle lecture series - - I just thought they politely listened to me as I shared, excitedly, about what I learned. I decided to put the next announcement up as an event on Facebook, just to see what happens. The only bad side effect from this event posting will be, if my friends come, I won't be able to tell them the stories I heard and the stuff I learned because they would have been there too. So, I'll just have to suck that up and repeat "Its not about you" over and over to myself. I would love to get a group of my non-military, non-museum friends to go and I'd love to bring that up to the museum powers that be... social networking can generate buzz.

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