One of the big stories going out around the net right now is that the DOD is blocking some social networking sites, the sites?
MySpace, Youtube, Live365, 1.fm, BlackPlanet, Hi5, Photobucket, Pandora, MTV, FileCabi, StupidVideos and Metacafe.
So what does this change for a blogger like me who’s been out to Iraq 3 times and uses 3 of the above services regularly?
I don’t know where these guys who are complaining forward are stationed at but out of my 3 tours, there was a maybe a month of time when we were able to get to these sites from work before it was cut off to our entire base. So we went to the internet café if we wanted to upload pictures and blog posts. I’ve always done it from the internet café, if you’re going to be someone who’s visible like me who blogs under his real name, you have to follow the rules. Another thing no one has mentioned, blogspot.com has been blocked from most of the work computer in Iraq, it’s not a bandwidth hog. That does bother me a bit because I use blogs almost as much as I use the regular news to get a pulse on the world. Know how much blog surfing you can get done in the 30 minute time slots at the internet café? Not much.
Know what happened for that month we could visit those websites? It slowed everything slowed to a crawl, pages wouldn’t load and there were people who wanted to get official work done and it took forever or the .mil sites would time out. So speaking as the geeky guy who loves MySpace, youtube and photobucket, it was a breath of fresh air when the IT guys blocked the heavy bandwidth sites. The internet was moving again and I could get some official work done.
For the guys forward, this rule came about after most of the local networks had blocked these sites anyway, it just puts all of the DOD under the same umbrella. I think it’s a good rule in the war zone unless band width improves but it is sort of silly to do it in the rear where bandwidth is cheap. An even better answer would be to improve the bandwidth, we’re putting enough money into the NMCI, with the amount of money we drop on those guys, we should be able to stream HDTV. Alas that is far from reality.