Sunday, March 04, 2007

Military Social Networking

I took the advancement exam on Thursday and I’m not sure. There were a bunch of dental supply questions which was the only chapter I didn’t print out and study. Here’s to crossing my fingers and hoping Eni and Meni knew what they were talking about.

I’ve spent the last couple of days since in a vegetative fugue, blog surfing and cleaning house. Last week, I got two separate invites to Together We Served websites, one for the Navy and another for the Marine Corps (where you have to be a Marine or Corpsman to join). The Navy TWS website opened up in October and according to this graph which I believe, is growing quite fast, they are already up to 44 thousand members.

The Marine TWS has been around since the Marines birthday in 2003 and has a well established 75 thousand members.

Both websites have a terrific scams going on (just because I call it a scam isn’t a bad thing, it just means they have an excellent business model), it doesn’t cost anything to join and you get the first 6 months free with the Navy site and 15 days with the Marine one with a full membership. For every 5 members you get to join they tack on another 6 months of full membership free. After that they ask if you want to pay to keep the full membership and or it switches to the free membership which you don’t get to use all of the cool search functions or post on the forums. On your profile, you put the units you served in, battles and schools you went to and you can find people who were stationed with you at the same time. You can search for people by location, medals, when they joined, MOS/NEC, partial names, call signs, college’s attended, very cool stuff.

In a couple of days, I’ve got in contact with 15 or so people I haven’t seen in a decade or more, people who fell off the face of the earth and now they’re back. It’s another sign of the times of how much the internet has shrunk the world.

This week seems to be one of those spurts where people I haven’t seen in ages fly out of the woodwork. I love the interconnectedness of the internet and how it is bringing many far away places right back into my living room. While there’s a great divide going on in politics, flowing underneath it all there are people from around the world quietly making friends with others who even a decade ago would have been unlikely to meet.

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