Sunday, April 11, 2010

Milblog Conference Wrap-Up

The Conference is over, and the party-crowd attendees have been dispersing all day. For those who didn't attend or watch the live feed, Princess Crabby's overview is here. I'll try to fill in the gaps a bit...

Friday afternoon included a treat - a tour of the Pentagon courtesy of Army PAO Lindy Kyzer and her team. We stopped briefly at the America's Heroes Memorial at the Chapel, to honor the memory of the victims of the 9-11 attack at the Pentagon. The tour then concluded at the Conference Center, where the blog crowd (about 25 of us) met with several key players in social media related roles in the Military / DoD for over an hour. Great discussions!!

Friday evening was the gathering phase, with the first panel of the Conference providing the attendees with a little perspective on Milblogging with the first panel discussion, titled "It's a Marathon, not Sprint". Several long-time milbloggers talked about their decisions to start blogging, and what the blog landscape was like in the early years of this decade. Members included Sgt. Mom, Baldilocks, Matt of Blackfive and Mitch 'Taco' Bell of Sandgram, with Grayhawk moderating.

Saturday was a packed day, with a quick welcome from "T" McCreary of Military.Com, who led straight to a message from Gen. Patraeus, recorded just for the Milblog Conference! His brief message centered around social media being here to stay, and an important means of keeping troops connected with their families, while providing a way for stories from all levels of the military to be read by anyone with interest.

The remaining panels covered divserse topics from military related charities and the use of social media, to a discussion of the View from the Top, which included no less than Admiral Harvey of US Fleet Forces blog. I can't begin to relate the varied topics covered across the panels. The good news is that the content should be available for viewing at YouServed, thanks to the hard work of Marcus Penn and Troy Steward, and others.

The best part of this conference for me was the time I was able to spend talking with various Denizens and bloggers who I had met only briefly in the 2008 Vegas conference. This one was much more intense, but without the time pressures.

We had quite a few Denizens present: Maggie, AFSister and Keith, FbL, Sgt. B, Homefront6, Bob, MaryAnn, AW1 Tim, and myself ... and we got to finally meet Boquisucio!! John and Beth were sorely missed, and not just by the Denizens crowd - many people were disappointed.

I need time to digest, and I will just offer this advice: When the videos are posted, take the time to watch the wrap up and awards ceremony. 'Taco' accepted the Marine Milbloggie on behalf of America's 1st Sgt of Castra Praetoria, who is downrange. The delivery was in the fine style of a senior Marine NCO, and holding in my laughter made it hard for me to hold the video camera still properly. I do hope the video comes out well, but even if only the audio were to survive, you should not miss it!

That's it, folks. If you weren't there, we missed you. If you were there, then leave a comment or trackback. I had a great time, and I am already looking forward to the next one!

(cross-posted at Castle Argghhh!)