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Join Us for the 2014 Military Track at NMX!

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We’re proud to announce that we’re bring the military track back to NMX for another year. Did you know that a huge percentage of NMX speakers and community members are vets or active duty military? We believe this is telling – the military prepares you for success in the new media world!

This track is sponsored by the U.S. Army. Special thanks to John and Antonio from High Speed Low Drag for helping us with this track!

You don’t have to be in the military to learn from our speakers in our military track. Join us for the following sessions on Sunday:

antonio centeno 1:30 – 2:15: Reinventing Yourself Through Social Media: From The US Marines To The Fashion Industry

Antonio Centeno made what would seem like an unlikely career change–he went from being a marine to working in the fashion industry. At his session, he’ll be talking about how he made this transition and how social media helped him reinvent his brand. If you’re thinking about making a branding change or beginning to work in the new media world after working in another field, this is a session you don’t want to miss.

Add this session to your schedule here.

Scott Fussell 2:30 – 3:15: Skills the Military Teaches that Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life

The military teaches you skills you need on the battlefield, but those skills can also help in other areas for your life. Scott Fussell from Command Your Business will be moderating this session. Panelists include Jared Easley, Brian Selke, and Jenn Selke. Join us to learn about the valuable skills learned in the military that make vets successful in the business world.

Add this session to your schedule here.

john dumas 3:30 – 4:15: What The Military Taught Me About Building A Multi-Million Dollar Company Via Social Media

Vets are often great entrepreneurs. Why? Join John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur on Fire and Dre Armeda and Tony Perez from Surcuri to learn why their military experience was invaluable and how they grew multi-million dollar business. You can learn from their successes even if you aren’t a vet (and if you are, you have a special advantage!). This is must-attend session if you want to grow your business!

Add this session to your schedule here.

Are you active duty military? Please join us at NMX as our special guest. Simply bring your military ID to the registration desk to get a free pass to our military track on Sunday.

Is an Army Blog Any Different? (Sponsored Post)

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Disclosure: The Army sponsored the Military Track at NMX 2013, and this post is part of their sponsorship package. We think what Captain He has to say about blogging while in the military is not only interesting, but can help give you a new perspective on your own blog, whether you’re in the military or not. -Editor

Captain He at NMX

I am in the Army, and I write a blog. To many people I have talked to, this means I write a blog about the Army. Following this logic, this means that I write a blog featuring pictures of soldiers in sandstorms in remote areas of Afghanistan with accompanying stories of intense missions to villages and the good work we are doing there, in contrast to the big media stories of the quicksand situation in the Middle East. When I say no, I’m not in the Infantry, they then think maybe I write one of those military wife blogs, full of tips of what to put in a care package to send to your husband overseas and what to wear to his coming home ceremony. Still not true; I may be an Army wife, but in a dual-military relationship that leaves both of us with our fair share of homecomings and goodbyes.

I don’t try to write an Army blog. I write a blog that just happens to occur in the context of me being in the Army. I do not write about Middle Eastern policy, because I am not a Middle Eastern policy wonk. I do write about the Army’s Cultural Support Teams and what a great idea they are, because I am a female and I am in the Army. I don’t write about secret missions in Afghanistan, because 1) that’s probably violating security, and 2) as a signal officer, I plan networks and make sure those Infantry guys have internet.

Old vs. New

The idea of old-style military blogging, or “milblogging,” was covered at the Milblog conference in DC last year.  A lot of the original milbloggers started to blog about the “real” story on the ground. When blogging became a more legitimate news source, and journalists at big papers started blogging in addition to filing their real news stories, the role of bloggers as story tellers started to diminish, and they became another news source in themselves.

I don’t think the original idea of the blog, telling someone’s story, is any different though. Maybe blogs are faster, shorter, more reactionary and less analytical, than a real news story, but it still tells a story. Today’s stories among milbloggers are a little different, but no less important.

My Idea of “New”

I don’t try to write news stories, I just try to tell the real Army story. Soldiers are not deployed every single day of their Army careers; they do spend time at home. In the almost four years that I’ve been in the Army, I’ve only been deployed to Iraq for about five months of that. The rest has been here in Georgia, training and planning and watching other units deploy.

Health and Fashion

Maybe my blog would better fit under the health or fashion categories of blogging. They do seem to be the top two topics for blogs right now.

Think about it, I work out every day with my unit. We run, we do calisthenics, I like to swim and bike and do triathlons and races on my weekends. Of course I write about it. I write about injuries I get, and how the Army tries to deal with that. I write about how stupid my hot pink shoes look with the Army PT uniforms that don’t even fit me.

That’s another thing I like to write about. While I watch my friends post their instagram #OOTD, I wear the same thing every single day. Want me to post that? I can do a cute face with minimal, natural looking makeup, picked specifically for its high-SPF content and the waterproofness/sweatproofness of the mascara, and show off my worn-in combat boots and small-short men’s uniform.

Or, on special occasions, I get to wear my dress blue uniform. Did you know that the first women’s uniforms, for Army nurses pre-WWII, were made on a men’s mannequin, and NO ONE NOTICED for almost 20 years? That’s how much the Army cared about providing their females with high quality uniforms. Some new prototypes of female-specific uniforms are being field-tested, not to mention female specific body armor (after only ten years of sending women to active combat zones), so maybe some changes will be coming eventually.

Just Telling Stories

So, there you have it. I blog to write about life and what I do, just to get my story out there. Even if I think my life is boring sometimes, it’s still different from anyone else’s in the world. Whenever I’m stuck, here are my go-to prompters that make me write:

What did I do different today? Maybe I did the same thing I do every day: went for a run, made some coffee, checked my email, made some slide presentations, answered some phone calls. What made it different, or special, or particularly awful?

What major events do I have to look forward to? In the Army, there is always something coming up: another deployment, a short trip for training somewhere, the possibility of a new assignment, or even just the chance to take leave following a grueling two week training exercise.

What inspires me? Sometimes getting up early to run in the middle of winter is hard, but I don’t have the option of staying in bed. What inspired me today to smile and push on? It might be thinking of my friends who can’t run anymore, or recently meeting someone who just said, “thank you for your service.” Sometimes it’s thinking about how lucky I am to have this opportunity, and that I don’t want to let down all the generations of Soldiers before me who gave it all. And sometimes it is knowing that Thursday is donut day, so I better get up and run.

Nothing seems too small to be a part of my story. Maybe it isn’t big news, or a big story, but it’s all mine, and I’m going to keep writing.

Military Track to Showcase Best Impact Practices

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The military vertical is arguably unmatched in terms of audience affinity, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to reach.

For the first time since 2008, Military.com has joined forces with the New Media Expo team in presenting a track that will benefit any blogger looking to improve his or her impact. The three panels have all been designed to showcase best practices behind growing metrics using innovative content and social media strategies.

The first session is titled “The New Military Blogger” and will look at the emerging voices in the vertical. After a decade-plus of war, the voices and constituencies have changed since the first warfighter started blogging about life on the front lines, giving rise to the term “milblogging.”

Who are these new digital influencers and who are they reaching? How are their tactics different from the previous generation of milbloggers?

This panel will be moderated by Military.com’s editor and long time blogger Ward Carroll and features Randy Brown of Red Bull Rising, Mark Seavey of The American Legion’s Burn Pit and This Ain’t Hell, and Paul Szoldra of The Duffel Blog (commonly referred to as “The Onion in Uniform”). These three military veterans have grown their audiences through a mix of punditry, advocacy, and humor, not to mention effective SEO and social media execution.

“The New Military Blogger” will take place on Jan. 7 at 10:30 in Miranda #5.

The second Military track session is titled “Militaryville – the Audience You Didn’t Know You Could Have.” This session features a panel of military spouses who started blogging as a form of therapy when their spouses were deployed. In time they discovered they had significant followings. The trick at that point was how to develop executions that would allow them to reach their entire potential audiences. The lessons they’ve learned will benefit any blogger who wants to do more with a property.

This panel will be moderated by Jacey Eckhart, Navy wife, syndicated columnist, and editor of SpouseBuzz.com. Panelists include Amy Bushatz, managing editor of Spouse Buzz and reporter for Military.com, male military spouse blogger Wayne Perry, and Spouse Buzz contributor Cheryl Ganser.

“Mililtaryville – the Audience You Didn’t Know You Could Have” will take place on Jan. 7 at 11:45 in Miranda #5.

The third and final Military track session is titled “New Media’s Effect on Military Benefits Policy and Legislation.” More than a decade of war has created many new benefits for those who served along with a larger population eligible to take advantage of them. This entropy has created a challenge for the agencies charged with getting the word out and the non-profit organizations that advocate for and provide advice to members. This panel will explore how
blogs, social media, and online email campaigns impact military compensation and benefits, transition assistance, VA programs, and military health care legislation and policy.

The panel will be moderated by Military.com’s benefits managing editor and author of “The Military Advantage” Terry Howell. Panelists include syndicated benefits columnist Tom Philpott, USAA’s Chaz Pratt, and MOAA’s Bob Norton.

“New Media’s Effect on Military Benefits Policy and Legislation” will take place on Jan. 7 at 2:45 pm in Miranda #5.

Are Bloggers Different than Journalists?

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I’ve spent lots of time in newsrooms, for both print and broadcast news organizations. My first job was as a reporter; the ethics of journalism were pounded into me at an early age. Be objective, don’t do anything to tamper with the integrity of the story, and report the facts. As a blogger, however, I can’t say I follow those same rules.

Should a journalist be so removed from a story that they let someone die?

A photo journalist at the Washington Post recently wrote about watching someone endure the fatal consequences of a snake bite; all the while she took pictures, documenting the man’s death. The article, “Why I Watched a Snake-handling Pastor Die for his Faith” chronicles the photo journalist’s ethical dilemma: to help or to remain objective. In the end, she maintained her distance and shot the photos.

Would a blogger remain as objective?

In 2005, milblogger Michael Yon was embedded with an American troop in Iraq. When the soldiers found themselves under siege, one of whom was shot three times and another who was in hand to hand combat, Yon picked up a rifle to join the battle. You can read an overview of Yon’s story by checking out, “Michael Yon versus General Brooks.” In short, Yon inserted himself into the “story” to help save a soldier’s life.

What about citizen journalists?

In this day and age, every one of us can be a citizen journalist. With video and still cameras on nearly every cell phone, all of us can–and do–capture the world around us. But, as “regular people” do we just capture what we see or do we get involved?

Case in point, a video was captured this week during a road rage incident in Los Angeles, California. Four men got out of their cars after the altercation and two guys filmed the encounter from the safety of their car. One man was severely beaten and repeatedly kicked in the head, but the men behind the video camera did nothing to intervene. The video is below.

It used to be that the “media” were are all trained journalists. They represented formal news agencies and their reporting was held to an ethical and professional standard. But, with the rise of new media, anyone can start a blog, podcast, or Web TV series. Any of us can capture video with our phones and upload it to YouTube or Facebook in seconds. No editor, no news director. We’re all self publishers; we’re all media.

So, where’s the line? Do all of these groups play a different, but important, role? Is a journalist removed, a blogger engaged, and a citizen journalist a voyeur? Is one of these ways right and the others wrong? Or are the differences important, with each of these groups serving their own unique purpose?

Military Track Coming to BlogWorld LA

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Blogworld 11

… by C. Blake Powers

Yes Virginia, There Is A Military Track At BlogWorld

Wait! What? Why?

Well, there is a military track for a number of reasons, and this year’s track is very different. Members of the military, and military families, were early adopters of new and social media. It was a means of keeping in touch, and sharing important information within the community. It rapidly became an important means of sharing topical and accurate information about the military, strategy, tactics, and more with the military-interested public.

Sites such as the Mudville Gazette, the Thunder Run, and Blackfive quickly became the go-to sites for the public and the media looking to get timely information on what was going on. These sites and others also became a place where people could ask questions, debate topics, and — even more importantly — get reliable information and help on care, benefits, and other issues that affect the wounded and those returning.

As social media came of age, the sites and the people behind them moved into that arena as well. Some of the discussions and debates have moved to realtime or near-realtime in that environment, and information can be shared much faster as a result. The net result is also that members of the military, as opposed to the military itself, are adapting and adopting quickly to the changes, and want to get ahead of the curve as much as they can.

So, last year we asked those attending what they would like to see on this year’s track. We listened, and have a stellar line up that should be of interest to all attending Blog World.

Our first panel on Thursday is at 1:30 pm (1330 hours) and features documentary film maker and communications consultant JD Johannes talking on “Quit F’ing Guessing: Using Math and Behavioral Economics to Win the Battle of Ideas” He will be sharing tried and proven means of measuring and maximizing the impact of your blog.

Our second panel starts at 2:45 pm (1445 hours) and features Jim Brown of Slingshot SEO, talking on “SEO for Specialty Content” He will be exploring how SEO and content marketing are not just for large blogs, but especially important for those dealing with specialized content.

The final panel starts at 3:45 (1545 hours) and deals with the very serious topic of “Blogging Through Loss.” Rachel Porto, a military widow, and Mandy Myers, who’s lineman husband was killed on the job, will talk about the ups and downs of dealing with the loss of a loved one while sharing life and loss in new and social media.

We hope that you will join us for these very special and interesting panels. The topics are of importance to the online military community, but are equally interesting and important to almost anyone in new and social media. Come join us, learn a bit about us, and — most importantly — learn about important topics from experts in the field.

The Military and the Media: Things Are Unlikely to Change

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Thomas Kratman

BlogWorld 2010 Speaker
MilBlogging Track
Thursday October 14, 2010
Time: 11:00AM to 12:00PM

 
The Military and the Media: Things Are Unlikely to Change …and they’re certainly not going to change for the better. The military and the media are not going to learn to like each other, generally, though each may make exceptions for individuals. They’re not going to learn to cooperate, generally, though there may be some rare bouts of it. And, generally speaking, neither are their respective world views going to come into sync nor their structural antagonisms to diminish. They can’t.

So let’s start with the structural antagonism. That it exists is fairly obvious. Soldiers (likewise, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines) have a vested interest in keeping secrets. Their lives depend on it. Their mission depends on it. Their victory depends on it. Thus, their hope of ever seeing home in one piece depends on it. Moreover, for careerists, their future careers may well depend on it. This includes keeping secrets that, by rights, perhaps ought not be kept. Those careerists are human, after all, and most unlikely to want revealed anything that might show them in a bad light.

Conversely, for the media, their interest lies in the opposite direction. One needn’t attribute to them any particular hostility to the military – though that hostility is often enough too plain to deny – to recognize that their livelihoods, their standing, their personal “glory” is intimately tied to obtaining and revealing secrets that the military would wish kept, often for good reasons though sometimes not.

Secrets, however, are only part of the structural antagonism. Much also comes from the nature of war, itself, and of journalism, itself. Folks, war’s ugly and there’s little (nothing, really) to be done to prettify it. Moreover, in any society but 18th century absolutism or 20th century totalitarianism, winning the war requires popular support. Popular support and ugliness just don’t go together all that well. Thus, Soldiers want the ugliness suppressed, or at least elided over, to keep up popular support. Journalists, if they’re intent on doing their jobs (not all are), want the little girl with the napalm burns on the front page, the gut-shot trooper, screaming out his last, to lead on the Five O-clock News, and the human interest story in either to be about the wife and kids left bereft by the death of their husband and father…unless there’s a video of an allied policeman executing a prisoner which, naturally, would take precedence. It’s too much to say that all journalists are interested in undermining popular support, though some appear to be. It’s not too much to say that a substantial group is indifferent to maintaining popular support for a war.

Thomas Patrick Kratman, a political refugee and defector from the Peoples Republic of Massachusetts, is a retired infantry officer, a recovering former attorney, and a writer of political and military commentary, more or less disguised as science fiction, for Baen Publishing. You can also find him at www.tomkratman.com

Yes Virginia, There Is A Military Track

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The question in many people’s mind is “Why is there a military track at Blog World?” The answer is that members of the military (as opposed to the military itself) have been at the forefront of using and pushing the boundaries of new and social media. As they have done so, the military and a host of other institutions have begun to take new and social media seriously.

Milblogs have long served two distinct and important purposes. A number of them were started simply to keep family and friends informed about a particular individual, or a small group of
people. They let those interested know how they were doing, what it was like wherever they were, and some of what was going on at that location. Others started up to share broader information with those interested, to overcome the lack of reporting and in-depth analysis of events and plans, and – in some cases – bad information.

For the first time in history, a broad audience could have access to current information on events, activities, conditions, and much more at the front lines – as well as the rear, the middle, and even during transit. Those blogging from overseas helped push both the technological
envelope for new media, as well as the social envelope by helping establish that blogging was an effective and responsible means of sharing information.

As social media evolved, these same groups of people began to use Facebook and other platforms, then Twitter, and, well, you get the idea. As members of the military have moved forward on various fronts, they have also helped advance new and social media in the process.

Today, members of the military are still pushing those envelopes. As new platforms and technology are emerging and evolving, they are being given a trial by fire, in some cases literally. As they demonstrate the maturity and/or the efficacy of platforms and technology, they are also showcasing the effective and innovative uses to the world.

This year, we have an interesting line-up of panels in the military track that we hope you will consider attending. They are not just for the military or even the military-interested public: they are for those interested in innovative uses of social and new media, tech and
use trends, how social media can be done and how it works under less than ideal conditions, and even those interested in separating myths from reality. We even hope to have a surprise or two for you:

Panel 1: Surprise for now
Panel 2: Social Media: Force Multiplier for Spouses?
Panel 3: Media and the Military: Myth versus Reality
Panel 4: Ideal versus Field: Social and New Media In Less Than The Best Circumstances
Yeah, we are still working on that last title…

In the days ahead, you will be hearing more about each panel and the participants, and even getting to meet the participants a bit. We are not out to recruit; we are not out to debate tactics, and we are not out to bore anyone. What we plan to do is talk about new and social media and explore its use, its future, and trends that will be of interest to all. With a bit of context from a specialized group that has pushed the envelope and helped shape what is and what is to come.

Stay Tuned…

C. Blake Powers
Blake Powers has been blogging since 2003 at laughingwolf.net and milblogging as Civilian-in-Residence at http://www.blackfive.net since 2005. He is a consultant on new and social media and has reported as a blogger from Iraq.
His background includes working as a project manager on several Spacelab missions, serving as Director of Outreach for NASA’s Space Product Development Program, worked for the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, working with (and serving as furniture for) wolves, and has co-founded the charity Cooking with the Troops.
Yes, that is a real wolf in the photo.

Happy Veteran’s Day! Talking To The Army

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To all of our veteran’s and servicemen and women across the country and abroad, please accept our heartfelt and sincere thanks for your service and sacrifice for your country and our freedoms.  I know I speak for all of the people here at BlogWorld & New Media Expo when I say we very much appreciate all that you do.

We will be talking with Major Mary Constantino, the project manager for Army Strong Stories which is a soldier blogging community hosted by the U.S. Army Accessions Command, at BlogWorld Expo Radio on Friday at 12:00 PST. Join us as we talk with Major Constantino and milblogging.  

Happy Veteran's Day! Talking To The Army

Author:

To all of our veteran’s and servicemen and women across the country and abroad, please accept our heartfelt and sincere thanks for your service and sacrifice for your country and our freedoms.  I know I speak for all of the people here at BlogWorld & New Media Expo when I say we very much appreciate all that you do.

We will be talking with Major Mary Constantino, the project manager for Army Strong Stories which is a soldier blogging community hosted by the U.S. Army Accessions Command, at BlogWorld Expo Radio on Friday at 12:00 PST. Join us as we talk with Major Constantino and milblogging.  

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