Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Debrief on the Milblog Conference

If there was an overall theme at the conference, it was that we do make a difference. When I looked around the room, I could see how much we had all grown over the last 4 years. It’s strange to think I’ve done the blogging thing longer then a regular enlistment. In that room, I could count off the people who have been involved in feature documentaries, appearances on radio and TV, here alone, we have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars towards causes like Valour-IT (voice activated laptops for troops) and Soldiers Angels. At the same time, we’re not the fresh face, CNN, FOX and the Washington Post weren’t out in the lobby waiting to interview us like last year. But there were representatives from the Pentagon and Navy and Army PAO’s who thought what we had to say was important and this time, they seemed as well versed as us about blogging. New media is taking a larger slice of the information pie every year and milbloggers offer a viewpoint that neither regular media nor the official channels can match.

LTG Caldwell was invited to give the opening speech and here it the video.

I was awarded the Navy Milbloggie for the second year in a row and believe me, I’m far from a rock star, stick a mic in front of me and my brain goes blank, seriously, I'm a total dork. I didn’t start writing to become famous; I just wanted to tell a story. I was about to go to war and having a blog would keep people from forgetting me if I didn't make it back. When I started, it was only for a few friends, I couldn’t have cared less at the time whether or not anyone read what I wrote but over the years, this little project has taken a life of its own and I have met life long friends. It was nice to know there were people out there who cared and to be voted the top Navy blogger (twice), it’s humbling because I know there are many writers who are worlds better than me, two top my list Lt Nixon Rants and Lex come to mind. I hate to admit it, I probably won because I've became a household name, in these circles people say Sean and silently add from Doc in the Box. My win probably had more to do with name recognition, networking and everyone and their dog knowing me then the quality of my written word (maybe a little bit to do with me being super friendly too). Thanks for the votes guys! I owe you and your dog a beer.

The rest of the winners are below
U.S. Military Parent Some Soldier's Mom Carla lives in my home town and she's shown me worlds of support, thanks
U.S. Military Supporter Chromed Curses LL is one of favorite blog people
U.S. Air Force OPFOR I don't actually hang out with these guys but they have a large readership.
U.S. Army Toby Nunn's Briefing Room Was a cool cat at the pre-conference party, there's pictures someplace out there, there are so many good Army Milblogs, it's hard to make a choice.
U.S. Navy Doc in the Box Of course me
U.S. Marine Corps One Marine's View it was a toss up between him and Taco Bell, both are great bloggers
U.S. Military Veteran Blackfive - The Paratrooper of Love What can I say about Matt, Jimbo, Laughing Wolf and Mr. Wolf that hasn't been said? They're rock stars of the blogging world and I'm proud to have them as friends plus, they know how to throw a mean party.
U.S. Military Spouse ArmyWifeToddlerMom She's going to have to change her blog name pretty soon, her kids are almost in school. R is a social butterfly like me, everyone knows and loves her.

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