At Milblogging.com we claim to be the world’s largest index of military blogs – searchable by a variety of attributes – providing an unprecedented depth of information necessary to find your favorite milblog. But we just don’t allow any type of military blog to be added to our database – here’s a list of rules we suggest all military bloggers live by (humor only).
I. In your blog profile, there’s no need to disguise your name. Don’t try and describe something you’re not. If your blog name is CombatKillah or SouljahHard, and your job on deployment is to cook or listen to the radio in the JOC all day, change your name to DoughBoy or JocRoach. You should be proud of your role in the military. Readers want to hear “How to serve Boiled Hot Dogs 10 Days Straight”. You’ll be on Technorati’s Top 100 before you know it.
II. Soldiers, sailors, whoever – there’s no need to write dramatic tales about doing nothing. Even I’m guilty of it. Unless you survived the Battle of Fallujah or some other major attle, don’t belittle other historic events by talking-up your walk from your hooch to the latrene as you IMT in three to five second rushes. Trust me, readers back home aren’t going to turn to your blog as a daily source of the real war. If you’re blogging from Fort Pickett or some other base in the States and you haven’t been deployed, don’t waste your time. Do you really think readers care?
III. Don’t milblog just because others are doing it. Just because you’re good at one thing, doesn’t mean you’ll be good at another. Take the hint. When your site meter reads 12 visitors in the last six months, unplug it. That, or start writing about something more interesting. If you failed English in high school and you don’t know how to use spellchecker, you should spend your time doing correspondence courses, not milblogging.
IV. Don’t tell readers about military plans. It’s worse than treason. You should be punished. Having your blog shutdown and crying over it will be the least of your worries. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, don’t blog at all. For milbloggers that do all kinds of secret squirrel stuff and remain anonymous, it’s not too hard to reveal the source. The blogs usually look a little like this: ckljlutio: I’m sitting in Andar, tomorrow we plan to air assault in at approximately 1430 zulu, grid coordinates Uniform Alpha…(blah blah blah). It’s only a matter of time before someone important figures out who you are. Remember, Military Intelligence.
V. Stop complaining about the military in your blogs. This is the lowest form of milblogging there is. Sure, the chow sucks at times. It’s hot. I know. It’s fine to complain about simple things. Besides, you’re in the military, get over it. At least for the next 12 to 18 months.
VI. Don’t use milblogging as the only method of communication with family and friends. It does happen. E-mail them once in awhile. Pick up a damn phone and call your spouse or your kids. It is more human to hang-up the phone on them when you get sick of them talking than it is to avoid them by blogging.
VII. Be heard. Storm a hill. Save the day. Rescue a local. Find Osama. But don’t be stupid and put yourself in harm’s way to improve the traffic to your milblog. I guarantee the soldier that finds Osama, the number of visitors will skyrocket, even if they’re sitting at home on R&R. Simply being a milblogger in Afghanistan should be enough to get people back home to read your worthless milblog.
VIII. If you’re told by your leadership to stop blogging because you violated some rule, then stop. Three-year olds and rabbits learn their lesson when they touch a hot stove. Blog about something else going on in your life. Then again, if you’re milblogging from Iraq or Afghanistan, you really have no life.
IX. Simmer down. You might be a direct line to an American serviceman for the public back home, but don’t think you’re Geraldo Rivera as an embedded reporter. If you have enough time to blog every minute of the day, then trust me, your job on deployment isn’t that interesting. No one can milblog all the time unless they’re sitting behind some desk. Don’t overkill. You’ll just end up giving the few readers that you have an aneurysm.
X. Trying to raise donations using stupid ads or those god-awful t-shirts on your milblog is about as useful as raffling off your own poop to earn a buck. Only about .000000001% of visitors to your blog are retarded enough to click on the advertisement for “Literacy in Cambodia”. And why would anyone want to buy a t-shirt with your blog name for $19.99, when they could buy a name brand shirt for the same price from Macy’s.
XI. Don’t just put references to other milblogs in your milblog as a substitute for writing. Do you think the readers are that stupid? They’ll figure out that you have nothing to write about soon enough.
XII. Don’t overdo the banners. Banner this. Banner that. Meters. Ads. Blog rolls. And so on and so on. If you’ve tried all this crap and no one is reading your blog – you know what time it is? Yes, I’m guilty of it to. Possibly pushing the envelope. Too many banners, ads, meters.. some readers would probably love to bash my head in with their mouse. Your readers want to send you hate mail, but they can’t find your email or a way to contact you because of all the crap in your milblog. It’s a technique, that’s all.
XIII. Stop whining about the war or being stop-lossed. Granted, it’s your right to express your beliefs especially about up-armor, but when your blog reads: “Why are we here? We need a new President! I was stop-lossed Waaah! We’re not making any progress [type other rhetorical political comments]“, it’s boring and annoying. Suck it up.
XIV. Never ever ever ever, post more than 4 or 5 milblogs in the same day. Even that’s pushing it. Your readers will know you really don’t do anything of value in the desert, besides milblog.
XV. You’re not Shakespeare. You know who you are. Your blogs read like this: “As I sat their pondering over my green lettuce with tiny little dew drops on each leaf, and red juicy tomatoes sliced in perfect little circles…” Say what you want to say. It’s quality not quantity. I’d rather see a picture of your puke than read another long drawn out entry about crap.
XVI. You don’t have to post your pictures all over your milblog. Are you in love with yourself? Here’s me standing next to the latrine. Me, in the gym. That’s me standing in the desert. Me again, doing nothing. One or two pics is fine of yourself, but you’re not Brad Pitt or Cindy Crawford in uniform. I assure you. Do what other soldiers do, post your pathetic pics on Hot or Not to raise your self-esteem (or in some cases lower it).
XVII. Stop with these hazy excuses for not milblogging like “On Mission”, “MWR Down”, “Op Sec”, or a full page of ambiguous nonsense which makes readers feel like you’re blowing them off. If you caught dysentary by drinking the local water and you have a nasty case of the “runs”, that’s okay, let the readers know. They worry. If you don’t feel like writing, be honest. Ignoring your supporters back home is worse than taking a picture of your butt and posting it on your blog.