22 February 2009

Results are in: Readers are split about blogging under own name

57% percent of respondants (14 total this time) said Soldiers should blog under their own name. This is certainly not a whopping majority, so I'll take the response to suggest that we're split on whether or not Soldiers should use their own name when blogging or should continue to use creative aliases.

Here's my take on this issue: If the Soldier is blogging about military related issues he should use his rank and position at a minimum, but if he's blogging about other topics there's no need to do so. The reason I believe this is twofold. First, when talking about military topics, one of the best reasons for Soldiers to blog is because of their experience and credibility. Therefore, the Soldier should use rank and position (maybe even a quick background) to support his comments. On the other hand, there are rules governing what Soldiers can say in uniform - specifically about political leadership - and if blogging about any of these topics, the Soldier is wise to remain just "Joe Civilian" to avoid the risk of violating rules.

Just as a Soldier should not show up at a political rally in uniform, so too should he not blog about a political topic on a milblog. But if that Soldier were to be interviewed on the local news about a recent military exercise or his experiences on deployment, he should proudly wear his uniform. So too should a Soldier make it clear that he's a Soldier when blogging about similar topics.

The details if you're interested...

Should Soldiers blog under their own name?
  • 57% (8) Yes
  • 43% (6) No

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