One of the first things a blog should be about is starting a conversation. We can all blame SJS, for though VADM H has commented a little bit here and there - in response to SJS's post at USNIBlog, VADM H weighs in with some comments on the subject at hand and also Navy milblogg'n.
Like the CDI article I brought up on Monday, you don't have to fully agree with something to find a nugget or two worth chewing on. As someone that fully believes that you can only improve things by looking at the merits of outside criticism, that is what I would like to focus on.
Galrahn has some thoughts worth reading, as does Lex and Jules.
With respect to your comment concerning participation in the blogosphere and the upcoming milbloggers conference, let me speak pretty plainly - most of the blogs I’ve dropped in on and read on a regular basis leave me pretty cold. Too many seem to be interested in scoring cheap, and anonymous, hits vice engaging in meaningful and professional exchanges. There is also a general lack of reverence for facts and an excess of emotion that, for me, really reduces the value of the blog. Incorrect/inaccurate data and lots of hype may be entertaining for some, but just doesn’t work for me.Is that criticism, or observation from someone trying to figure it all out? I read it as the later. I'll take the hit for being anon - but my reasons are well known to regular readers and parallel those that Lex brings up at the link above and CAPT Toti brought out in his excellent DEC08 Proceedings article. The old phrase “Kill one and terrorize the rest" applies. As for blogs - there are different ones out there that fill different niches in the blogg'n ecosystem. In a response a few comments after his, I tried to outline it this way,
My best example of a truly worthwhile blog, worthy of our time and intellectual engagement, is the Small Wars Journal. The tone is always professional, the subject matter is compelling and the benefit from participating is significant.
All that said, here I am - I recognize the reality of the blogosphere and the potential that exists for worthwhile exchanges that enhance our professional knowledge and overall awareness. My intent is to continue to participate when I can and where I see I can make a contribution to a professional exchange, but my view today is that the bloggers generally see their activity as far more meaningful than I do right now. I do, however, remain hopeful.
What blogs have filled is a gap that exists in our professional conversation. For the sake of discussion, let’s put SmallWarsJournal and LongWarJjournal on one side of the equation (almost exclusively policy/programs/strategy/reportage in a quasi-traditional format) and - just because he has his hand up (with fingers crossed) to start would would be a very funny and biting Personnel Policy Blog - Skippy-san on the other end (PPSR/social/political/humor/commentary/Agent Provocateur - nontraditional/conversational). In between you would have moving from one side to the other MichaelYon, InformationDissemination, MudvilleGazette, EagleSpeak, TheStupidWillBePunished, NeptunusLex, TheCastleArgghhh!!!!, SteelJawScribe, CDRSalamander and many others somewhere on the Journal-to-RantFest line.Anyway, drop by and give the whole thread a read. Interesting stuff.