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Shameless Pandering (bumped)

[I bumped this up because it's a great post looking at the growth and impact of milblogs.  And this is the last week of hotel discounts through the conference, although anyone with a military ID can get even bigger discounts direct from the hotels.  And Andi is still holding out on us with one more big name.  You really don't want to miss this! - FbL]

Shameless plug time - Blogworld Expo, with the concurrent Milblogging Conference as a  component part, is looming in a month!  While yes, the venue has changed to Las Vegas from DC, the conference itself is free this year - and that will get you access to the exhibit hall, too - which means you can hang out with all the kewl kids, and see and meet bloggers you read, but otherwise dont' get a chance to interact with - and I'm talking *all* the Big Kidz, because the Poliblogging guys and gals will be there too - and the place we'll mix is the exhibit hall.

And the two previous Milblogger Conferences prior to this were part and parcel of how we got here.

This year, I'm moderating the "Are Milblogs Still Relevant?" panel. I'm taking the postion of "Yes, they are..." but that's going to be hard to support if all y'all don't show up, eh?

Take a look at who's going to be there:

JP Borda
Matt Burden
John Donovan
General George Casey
Liberal Army Wife
Greyhawk and Mrs. G
Guard Wife
CJ Grisham
Toby Nunn
Bill Roggio
The Honorable Pete Geren
Ward Carroll

If you look through that list there are auld pharts (me) young buck deployed warfighting mibloggers (JP Borda, Toby Nunn), Big Dogs (Blackfive and Greyhawk), Senior NCOs (CJ), Fort Living Room is well represented (Mrs G, Guard Wife, Liberal Army Wife, Sarah).  The Troop Supporters (FbL), the professional milbloggers (Ward Carroll, Bill Roggio), oh, and yeah, a senior officer (Chief of Staff, Army, General Casey) and senior civilian leaders (Secretary of the Army, the Honorable Pete Geren)...

One reason the Army (and DoD) has a more aggressive posture on the 'net is because of... us - you and I. We whined, pleaded, cajoled, darkly muttered in the comments- and most importantly, *performed.*  And, bemusing the Old Media, we got their attention (both of 'em, DoD *and* the Eld Media), on how the New Media is a complement to the Old Media - and a way around the Gray Lady and similar gatekeepers.  We proved ourselves able to be responsible adults, and not out-of-control moonbats.  Even if we do have fun now and again.

It's significant, folks, who has chosen to talk to us (as when President Bush was our opening speaker last year) and with us - VADM Fox, who did a back and forth with us from Baghdad, live, last year. and this year, the two senior officials of the US Army, the Secretary and Chief of Staff,  are going to speak with us, interactively - and, are giving up time on a weekend to do it...  that's a respect we've earned, and it didn't come easy - nor should it have.

I spent my childhood and adult life around and later as a member of the Army.  I met a few Chiefs of Staff.  But I never had 'em sit down and talk with me for any significant length of time.  Much less the President

So, come be a part of milblogging - and see if we behave as, er, um, *interestingly* in the flesh as some previous reports might indicate...  and this is a chance to see it all happen live, with you as a participant.

So, come on to Las Vegas, and meet the people who put it out there every day - and meet each other, you guys - because it's you, our readers, that make us something other than some guys with opinions who hang around the water cooler.


Milblogs irrelevant? How *else* ya gonna find out about what's going on in the new Iraqi Flight School, huh?
I know what people around me would say.

You'll find out when the Iraqis bomb us with the planes and training we gave them.

I haven't run up on a Russian milblog, yet, but the Russo-Georgian War has demonstrated yet again that ordinary civilians, influenced perhaps by former military and intelligence community veterans, can participate as IO auxiliaries in support of CNA and PO.

ordinary people can be mobilized to provide global information support, spread global propaganda and conduct global psychological warfare.

Russian and Chinese ordinary people are mobilizing to support IO.  American ordinary people could do the same, if they were properly influenced and persuaded by people beyond the reach of internal oppositional elements.
Heh. Tell 'em the Iraqis didn't do it when they *had* WMDs -- they're not likely to do it with conventional weapons.

Then when they bluster "There were *no* WMDs!" tell 'em about the fifty metric tons of yellowcake Saddam collected that left here for Canada last month. Save the 500 or so containers of nerve agent we've found for the riposte.

Maybe Arkady Babchenko is the closest Russians get to Michael Yon, though I doubt Yon would be flattered by the comparison. 
Momentum is a lot in warfare. The left had a lot of momentum going by the time they got started on their No WMD lie craze.

You have to stop enemies before they mobilize. Stopping them afterwards requires more than just showing up to the field with yellowcake.

Don't forget Maggie and I will be there too, ya know!
And Brab and BCR.

Of course, we're not big-shot PANELISTS... so I guess we don't MATTER....

Come on you guys!  Us peon's need to stick together!!!

Don't fret, it's just the meds. He would never forget his fans :)

BTW, John, stay away from high fructose corn syrup, (it's in everything, especially bread) it will aggravate your symptoms, and we wouldn't want you to be in too much pain to travel.

What would we do without your cluebat?
Another year Another MilBlog Conference Another Chatroom And again I'll be off galavanting somewhere else. Dagnabit.
Yeah -- and another year of chairing the Castle Currently Overseas and Incommunicado (Northern SouthWest Asia) Listening Post.

Maybe we should host a "MilBog Not-Really a Conference Conference" Bill :)
BS and Bill.. we'll send pictures!
I know it won't be the same, but the chatroom will allow you to attend without the travel.  I don't know if they're doing a telecast or not.  Seems like they did last year.
They won't be like the ones in John's Get Well card, will they?
Oh, I hope not.
I don't think the world is ready for that.
Having done the first two remotely, I'm really looking forward to attending in person.  Not to mention catching up with the Denizens who attend, and meeting lots of folks who I only know through email, so far.  32 days and counting :-)

The Russian blogosphere is in livejournal. I've been reading it often. Quite interesting.
*Sigh* ... and The Admiral of the Moat Fleet's source for so many edgy pictures is revealed.