Sean Lawson’s second question about milblogging concerns how the practice has changed over time, both for me individually and in the wider world of milbloggers. For those of you that missed the previous post in this series, click on the “Blogging” category link above.
For my own part, what I’ve been able to do has ebbed and flowed with time. Most frequently this is because of who I am and what I’m doing in the Navy. If I were a second class petty officer on a ship out of Norfolk, the odds of someone fingering me would be small and I’d be more free to comment on some things. But, as a fairly senior officer serving in a unique position in the Navy worldwide, the veil of anonymity is thin and fragile.
And anonymity, for me at least, is not about being able to say things that are outside of the rules. It has to do with being able to do my job without worrying that my boss is reading my blog and agrees or disagrees with me. And it’s also about not having to worry about whether subordinates and peers do so, either. So long as I blog with anonymity, my blogging introduces no additional pressures on my work from above or below.
Finally, as fellow milbloggers have come and gone due to the institutional pressure of balancing freedom of expression with military law and regulations, I’ve tailored my content to ensure I’m on the right side of the rules. Some call it censorship, but I call it survival, because for me at least, while the validity of my opinions matter, I blog because I like it and because I think it serves a purpose, not because I have an axe to grind.
With respect to milblogging in general, the practice has, of course, been altered by the aforementioned institutional pressures. Most milbloggers are more cautious about the things they post now than was the case two or three years ago. Also, I think most of the “big names” in milblogging these days are mostly retired or reserve folks, because they have the freedom to be more ontroversial. In other words, they can really talk politics, and politics gets the real traffic in the Blogosphere.
You won’t find people like me, Lex, Chap or Phibian climbing way out on a political limb, because I suspect we all believe that what we can contribute on the deckplates while wearing the cloth of the country is far greater for the time being than what we can contribute with the finest piece of writing posted to the ether of the Internet.
Trackposted to Perri Nelson’s Website, Diary of the Mad Pigeon, , basil’s blog, Pirate’s Cove, Blue Star Chronicles, The Pink Flamingo, The Amboy Times, High Desert Wanderer, Conservative Cat, Right Voices, and Pursuing Holiness, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.