27 April 2012

Re: Classification of Mil-blogs

Milblogging.com's one-of-a-kind index of military-themed blogs categorizes content by each U.S. branch of military service, as well as the labels of spouse, parent, reporter, supporter, and veteran.

With an eye toward generating a constructive conversation about how to inspire others to document and share their military experiences online, perhaps it might be useful to consider by content, rather than by author's experience, uniform, or vocation. This isn't intended to replace or redefine Milblogging.com's labels, but to offer a different way to look at blogs and other forms of online communication.

As an additional benefit, this exercise might encourage would-be communicators to consider forms and formats outside of "traditional" blogs, including: social media outlets such as Facebook pages, microblogging tools such as Twitter, or visual-media channels such as Flickr or YouTube.

Recently brainstormed with other bloggers and Facebook friends, here's a list of types of military-themed content that writers and artists might explore through online media:
  • spiritual / inspirational
  • family / spouse
  • parent
  • memorial
  • first-person narrative
  • support-the-troops project or organization
  • veterans organization
  • healthcare advice / experience
  • financial advice / experience
  • education / employment advice / experience
  • political activism / advocacy (To paraphrase Jeff Foxworthy: If you start a sentence with phrases such as "Congress should ..." or "You should vote for ...", you may already be an activist.)
  • news aggregator
  • news analysis
  • war-story / oral history aggregator
  • policy analysis / military strategy and tactics analysis
  • humor / satire / cartoon
  • historical (unit or family) / genealogical
  • official military unit, office, school, or branch of service
  • combat multipliers / enablers / capacity-builders (Examples: U.S. Department of State; U.S. Department of Agriculture; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civilians and contractors; private contractors, Non-Governmental Organization workers.)
What are we missing? What other suggestions do you have?


  1. It's just like any other form of publishing, there are genres which people fit in, oftentimes not necessarily choosing it themselves, but what they write lands them in one.

    I think genres are appealing. One of the most difficult things about blogging is figuring out the focus. This could help greatly for the writer who is trying to find the boundaries and write to their greatest strengths.

  2. In fact, I'm not comfortable with the current Milbloggies categorization, which puts more emphasis on popularity than what is truly good writing and reporting.

  3. "Genre"--that's a great word--might better describe this blend of content and function with which I'm wrestling. I like it!

    I think the Milblogging.com labels/categories are useful, because they've been indexing them for longer than anyone else. Change the labels, and you might lose historical data.

    The annual Milbloggies competition, however, might be more inclusive with changes to criteria or method. People's Choice-style awards have their place; so do recognitions of merit. Personally, I'd be open to any idea that encouraged more people to participate in blogging (however that's defined).

  4. Can you add:
    Old Army dude who got out of active duty before internet, then became a cop, then joined the Nat Guard, then started blogging after going to war...then retired and kept doing it. ahhhh...too confusing.


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