I have questions about tomorrow's transplant as I plan my Thursday. You see it will likely start around 10am and I need to know what kind of shape I will be in. 10am is the start time for a DoD Bloggers Roundtable. Well I explain it to people who aren't familiar as a conference call with a Navy Captain and a USMC Colonel. No one asks....but you can see on their faces "How....why?"
Let's start with the fact that I have never been in the military. My Navy connections before blogging were tenuous at best. My Dad served 4 years before I was born. I spent many happy afternoons running the decks of Old Ironsides. I am a huge fan of John Wayne in the movie "In Harm's Way". And of course.....there is the Favorite Naval Consort. Although I met him in a non-Navy way, the blogging came about as an effort to learn more about the Navy in order to remain a bright shiny object in his orbit. And it has worked magnificently.
Blogging led to some wonderful Internet connections and some of my dearest friends. One of those connections was Jack Holt and his Department of Defense Bloggers' Rountables. And one of those friends is Lt Jennifer Cragg, USN.
The Navy's participation in these calls is due to forward thinking Sailors, officers and enlisted who see the value in a two way communication with the general public through social media. There are some who are missing this boat. But not any of my friends at CHINFO. Certainly Rear Admiral Moynihan sees reaching out to bloggers, twitterers (is that a word), etc. as a positive. Some, like my friend Admiral Harvey jump right in and blog themselves.
Anytime something goes wrong, you can count on certain MSM outlets and certain bloggers to cover the story. Especially if there is anything lurid or comical involved. But the positive stories? Well sometimes they need a little push getting out there. Also, there are non-military people who have questions and no idea where to go for their answers. Many of them, like me, turn to blogs. This is how to get some of the non-sexy stories on recruiting and ongoing operations/military operations and family support and how your tax dollars are spent.
My interactions with CHINFO and the DOD social media people have definitely been give and take. They have been a valuable resource to me and I hope that I in turn have been a good resource for my readers and Twitter followers.
So the answer to the "How? Why?" is simply this; I expressed an interest; I participated in a positive way (this is not to say that I always agree, but I am always fair & polite); and I pass along my info.