30 April 2010

This is what's known as a slow news week

MPRI, the contractor hired by the US Army to monitor trends in the milblogosphere, must be baffled this week. There was little serious military-related news to report on this week. Tom Ricks was on hiatus, there's still no winner in Iraq's recent elections, relatively few deaths in Afghanistan, and Col. Gian Gentile and I hadn't argued about the "COIN vs. Conventional" debate in a few weeks. Sure, there was an excellent conference on Natural Security (courtesy of CNAS), and an excellent seminar on strategy at Zenpundit. But other than that, it was a quiet week.

Thus, MPRI might be puzzled as to this week's web trends. Therefore, I've volunteered to help them out with that little "lines of effort" chart they have. (By the way, those aren't really "lines of effort", just so you know)

This week's top trends in the milblogosphere are:

PowerPoint. Yes, the big collection of anti-PowerPoint rants is up at Small Wars Journal, and Jon Stewart took it on during Thursday night's Daily Show. Even al Qaeda tweeted "our friends in [Microsoft] are attacking the crusader armies from within http://nyti.ms/9TIvGd"

Foreign Policy (and by that, I mean Iran's "Boob Quake"). Yup, covered at Jules Crittenden, the Middle East Institute, and at Great Satan's Girlfriend. In other Iran news, the Official Iranian Salute Guy just got his own Facebook page, Twitter account, and blog.

Mocking US CYBERCOM's new "wings". Yup, both Wired.com's Danger Room and SWJ have jumped in on the action. You can, too.

US Troops dancing like Lady Gaga. These guys even made the Washington Post. The Smoking Gun has the Soldiers' true identity--they're from the US Army's elite 82nd Airborne Division. (Uh, no coincidence) There is one notable error in the report from The Smoking Gun, though, as it reports that one Soldier is wearing yellow police tape, just as Gaga does in the "Telephone" video. Wrong. That's no police tape. That's a reflector belt!

Seriously, these guys got more press than Generals Petraeus and McChrystal combined this week. The paratroopers feature prominently in an article from Slate which chronicles the history of military-related Internet memes.

An article called "Kandahar Cluster**** Watch". Check it out at Democracy Arsenal. I wonder which of the categories this one will wind up in: supportive, balanced, or somewhat critical?

MPRI's Milblog Study. Finally, MPRI, we spent a lot of time discussing you and your metrics. We had a lot of fun with it, too. Love ya. Mean it.

And to think we milbloggers have been called a credible news source. Though, truth be told, the Washington Post and New York Times are getting these memes from us, so I really don't know what else to say.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Starbuck, you're way too important to national security to be flying helicopters. You need a mid-six figure salary from MPRI to do this on a permanent basis. Then you could fly your own helicopter on weekends.