Friday, November 16, 2007

Cyber Soldier

Friday, November 16, 2007

In September 2006, MTF's Journalism Program gathered military and media leaders to discuss rapidly changing information management during war time. The Internet generation had gone into battle - and controlling messages going to and from the front lines had reached a complexity unlike in any previous time. (The report that came out of that conference is on the foundation's website at

Chicago magazine's October issue ( has a fascinating interview with blogger Matthew Currier Burden. The Gulf War veteran, a Chicagoan, began a blog ( - blackfive being an old military call sign for the executive officer who makes things happen behind the scenes) in 2003 about those fighting the war. When he started the blog, Burden was one of the first to blog about the war. Today there are hundreds. Yet Burden's registers some 4 million unique visitors per year, making it arguably the most prominent military blog (or miliblog) in the blogosphere.

And according to the magazine piece military officials have taken notice: Since April 2005, soldier bloggers in Iraq and Afghanistan must register their Web sites with commanders. The Pentagon also blocks soldiers' access to 13 popular networking, music and photo-sharing sites (including YouTube and MySpace). Burden's book, The Blog of War, reprinting many of the blog's entries - was published by Simon & Schuster in 2006.

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