15 November 2008

Soldiers would consider "talking points" when blogging

The results of this blog's first very unscientific survey are in ... Soldiers are willing to consider their commands "talking points" when blogging. Thanks to the 8 (yeah, before this is a legitimate finding, probably need to have a larger survey sample) who took the poll. Results of the poll were:

As a Soldier blogger, would you consider your command's "talking points" when writing?

  • 0 (0%) Absolutely, I'd find ways to incorporate them
  • 5 (62%) I'd consider them, can't promise I'd incorporate them
  • 1 (12%) I'd ignore them and write just as I do now
  • 2 (25%) It would irritate me; like they were trying to control me
While this is an encouraging finding, the fact that 25% said that providing talking points would irritate them is concerning. This leads me to believe that should a command decide to provide talking points to their Soldiers for this purpose, they should clearly explain the purpose of them and make certain that their Soldiers understand they are under no pressure to incorporate them. I also wonder if Soldiers are irritated when provided talking points when out on patrol. My instinct says "no", because they likely understand the need in that circumstance. We'd need to help them understand the need (value) when blogging - to provide big picture understanding. The last thing we want is for Soldiers to feel that they are being manipulated. Just as bad, we don't want the public (the readers of milblogs) to believe that Soldiers are simply puppets; their credibility depends on their individualism when blogging.

Of course, we should use caution when extrapolating much from this poll - given the very small sample. The next poll is up (look to the right). Please consider voicing your opinion through the poll. Thanks!


  1. Good topic to survey, I hope you are able to expand it to more bloggers to pump up the margin of error.

  2. Me too, Dan - thanks for checking out the blog. Milblogging.com has helped me get the word out about this project as have a few other blogs. Am also pursuing a broad survey of Soldiers - starting the approval process for that. In the meantime, I appreciate any help in passing this blog's address to anybody you know or think may be interested in this subject.