Blogging in the Navy, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine

Maritime Reporter has a featured article in their upcoming edition titled “Blogging New Technology” that describes how the US Navy is harnessing the power of ‘Web 2.0’ to improve communication throughout the fleet. They write:

So why does the CIO blog?  “In short, our Nation’s security depends on it,” Carey said.  By embracing and recruiting this generation, the CIO sees it as a way for them to chart new and innovative paths. Carey, who blogs a few times a month, stated the intention of his blog early on:  “to open up a straightforward and public dialogue with DON personnel, and specifically the brave Sailors and Marines who are out on the front lines protecting this country, so that I can fully understand what their IT needs are.”

Beyond the CIO’s blog, the IT Resource is multi-faceted with its presentation of information, further justifying the Navy’s embrace of Web 2.0 technology.  Described as an ongoing conversation about initiatives in the Navy, personnel issues and current events, the CIO’s website also offers several Podcasts.  As with his blog, Carey views Podcasts as another important communication tool for the Navy.  “What I hope to accomplish by the use of podcasts is to get information out to those who need it anywhere and anytime. It is a wonderful technology that allows us to deliver messages to Internet users that affect them in the Department of the Navy,” Carey said in his July 27 Podcast.  The Navy’s official website also features a variety of podcasts, videos (vidcasts) and RSS feeds, which can be accessed here.

blogger censorshipWhile gCaptain isn’t mentioned, our friends at Sea Fever, CRD Salamander and the Unofficial Coast Guard Blog are. The looming question is that while blogs are being embraced at the organizational and command level (some, like Adm Thad Allen, even have Facebook profiles!) what challenges are being faced by rank and file members of these organizations?  As these questions are being answered for uniformed personel civilians bloggers in working in similar fields might have an even more difficult time online.  This past march the USCG fired a contractor who had been critical of many of the policies and actions taken by the Coast Guard including the investigation into an incident in which his son died. Merchant Mariners are suffering a similar fate. Just last week fellow maritime blogger Dan Gerous was given the choice of continuing his blog or packing his sea bags. You can read his story HERE.

What are your thoughts on blogging at sea?