I Learned to Blog from the Army

April 10, 2009

Blogging became popular while I was teaching writing courses at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, KS in the years 1998 through 2004. My first reaction to blogging was the same as my reaction to Wikipedia, “Great, we need more bad writing made easily accessible to the public.” I must admit there was a hint of professional jealousy to my angst about blogging, wikis, Tweets, and most other Web 2.0 technology platforms that Gen-Yers found so fun.

Anyone could publish a blog. I’m a Gen-Xer, and I can be cynical at times. It took me more than a few years to complete courses, pass comps, and write a doctoral dissertation to be called a “doctor.” There are plenty of gatekeepers in doctoral programs. That’s why only a small percentage of the population in the U.S. even possesses a doctoral degree.

However, anyone can blog.

Where, why, and how did I learn to accept blogging? The Army taught me.

The first Army blog I started reading was Blackfive. I also read postings on SpouseBuzz, especially those posted by Andi, the spouse of an Army officer. I followed the Small Wars Journal Blog. I was mostly interested in what the people in the Army had to say about the war and not just the views presented in the media or by politicians.

Jessica Lipnack of NetAge presented on blogging at the Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, KS in September 2008. Jessica writes her own blog called Endless Knots. She and her husband Jeff Stamps conducted a blog workshop at the Army Operational Knowledge Management Conference in October 2008. I was impressed, and I understood that blogging, much like other Web 2.0 tools, was now another writing platform, even for writers. Kent Greenes and Nancy Dixon also presented at the Army Operational KM Conference and discussed how cognitive authority is being replaced by the accessibility of information and communication that flattens knowledge sharing. When I finally earned a Ph.D. and became a “cognitive authority” on something, that’s when knowledge became easily available to everyone.

Anyone can blog, yet I wasn’t.

My final push into the blogosphere was through CAC Blogs, the Combined Arms Center Blogs. One year ago, LTG Caldwell of CAC allowed “open discussion and debate using a publicly accessible blog site.” Here he comments on the blog journey, One Year Later: The Combined Arms Center Blogs. On CAC Blogs I followed Dr. Jack’s blogs and comments posted by Bob King and Dr. Chris Paparone.

I have been inspired to blog by the men and women in the Army community.


3 Responses to “I Learned to Blog from the Army”

  1. Bob King Says:

    Michele – Welcome to the blogosphere!

    Actually, that’s not quite correct. You’ve already been here for awhile. With your facilitation of the S3-XO Net and your comments on the CAC blogs, you have already been leaving some digital footprints. But there you were just passing through, a virtual tourist so to speak.

    Now you’ve staked out your own virtual property. I look forward to seeing how you use it.


  2. Doc Michele Says:

    Thanks Bob! You’ve been a great blogosphere and Web 2.0 tour guide for me and for CGSC faculty and students.

  3. majorman Says:

    Your contributions to the Combined Arms Center generated great professional discussions. It’s great to see people recognizing the Army’s efforts in the blogosphere.

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