2009 MBC Panel 2

Panel 2: Beyond MilBlogging

Airforcewife - SpouseBuzz
Lily Burnana - author, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
Uncle Jimbo - Blackfive
JD Johannes - Outside the Wire
Craig Stewart - The National Museum of Americans in Wartime

David Stanford of The Sandbox

Lily is a writer/editor who started off in the world of punk rock. She married a military intelligence officer and has authored a book, titled "I Love a Man in Uniform".

Airforcewife is one of the original authors for SpouseBuzz. She also works for Military.com, covering the election and spouse views.

Uncle Jimbo is a SF vet and writes for Blackfive and in other locations.

JD Johannes - former Marine, TV producer, reporter, creator and director of "Outside the Wire".

Craig Stewart - president and CEO of The National Museum of Americans in Wartime.

First question - what is the future of all of this information? Is someone archiving all of the milblogs?

CS: I don't know.

Lily: thinks someone is but many of us are DIY. Supposedly the internet is forever but backing up is essential.

JD: intentionally shoots on videotape as it is durable. Decades from now he will have first-person accounts from those that were THERE.

From the audience: archive.org is an option.

Quesiton for Lily: how does your experience...?

Lily: the unique challenge was who the MSM thinks military wives ARE. They think we're these Stepfordian wives and we're not. Most of the editors got it. It was challenging to confront that stereotype that a military wife cannot be an independent thinker. Just because she's a military wife doesn't mean she doesn't carry an industrial sized can of whoop ass. The good news story in all of this is that as military wives become more visible, we gain an ever-increasing platform. People are actually willing to listen. Then, show them who you really are.

AFW: It's not as exciting as Lily's story. She does more "humiliation blogging". The only kind of interaction she had with people like her was on line. She has the same problem as Lily - the misconception that we are all alike. She tries to marry the civilian worlds and the military world.

Troy has a question regarding advice they would give to guide those that want to step out beyond just milblogging and take it to the next level?

Jimbo is discussing the evolution of SOG media. Filmed stories about sending people back to Iraq as civilians after they had served there with the military to document the changes that were seen. This was then picked up by the MSM. This is huge.

Jimbo is advocating for action from MilBloggers at the local level - start small, build a relationship, be a credible source.

Lily echoes and says to be prepared for rejection and to remain consistent.

Craig Stewart is talking about how his Museum has come about. There are two sides - serving and self-serving. The question has been posed: how are you going to represent milbloggers in your museum? To honor those that have served : battle front and homefront, they will pick individuals that they think represent the milblogging community and highlight them.

CJ's up : he has a "Twitquery"...who is responsibility is it to ensure that the message is understood? The reader's or the reporter's?

Lily believes that the onus is on the blogger. Jimbo agrees

Ruthie points out that she found she had more in common with her 93 year old grandmother than with many of her contemporaries that she went to school with. I agree.

Grace from the Washington Times tells us that spots are opening up for milbloggers to write for the Times in order to share news about what's going on on military bases/posts: spouses, vets, children. Two pages of Citizen Journalism pages for milbloggers to have a voice.

Question from Grace: why do milbloggers thing that the MSM has "failed" the military. Is the military community unique in that failure? Is it the liberal agenda that has caused the failure?

Lily: thinks that only so much will fit into the "news hole" and we lose out to other stories.

AFW: thinks that the Oprah-ization of our society tends us toward the "victimization" of military families causes us to shy away.

Susan Kats Keating: Museum has a blog --> http://www.nmaw.org/


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