21. September 2004 · Comments Off on Advice to New Members of the Collective · Categories: General

From: Sgt Mom
To: New Members of the Collective
Re: Mission Statement and Standards

1. First, let me welcome you to the collective at The Daily Brief, and the wonderful, eccentric world of the weblog. It may be something you become truly addicted to, if you have not already, and it may be something that once explored, you may find yourself burning out, and moving on to other pursuits and interests. You may find your literary voice here, and you may develop fans and a following, friends in distant places, critics, sparring partners, contacts… or not. It all depends on you, really.

2. This weblog was begun by a member of the active duty forces, and after a year of providing content by himself, felt that it would be enhanced by adding the input of other members of the military, either current or former, from the US forces and their equivalents serving in Canada, Australia, and the UK. I feel very deeply that this weblog serves a continuing useful and informative purpose, in that it gives those who are, and who have served a voice in the larger and developing new media community; a voice which had been marginalized for too long a time. It is nearly thirty years since military service was the common coin of experience, and in that time the weeds of ignorance and misinformation have grown particularly tall; this weblog is a way of cutting them down, and relating what the military life and experience is really like, from all our many and varied experiences.

3. Inform, and entertain— the motto of AFRTS, less the cheesy spots. Whatever interests and intrigues you—indulge your curiosity and explore it. It will probably interest and intrigue readers too; a good writer can make a seemingly boring topic quite engrossing. Sometimes I think I shall challenge myself and write an essay about dryer lint, and see how interesting I can make it!

4. I like the rule at Rantburg (www.rantburg.com) about posting a couple of paragraphs and a link, rather than duplicating an article/post in full. Life is too short to duplicate here what you can read somewhere else.

5. Pace yourself: at this moment a good few top bloggers are a little burned out and taking a break from it all. It will be a bit of a drain— sort of like a vampire extracting a pint of your best homogenized once a day or so. I try to post three times a week; a self-imposed deadline, but it works for me. I actually find deadlines rather inspiring. Work out for yourself the pace you can maintain over the long haul— think of this as a duty requirement, and then stick to it as much as you can.

6. I write in Word, save, spell-check, etc, post and insert links when referring to an article or book. Whatever works best for you, of course. I answer comments, within reason, even if only to thank the commentor.

7. As always, Opsec applies. Also, my parents, my sister, my Significant Other, and my daughter all read my posts, and as it turns out, so do an embarrassing number of former co-workers and NCOICs. Discretion is the better part of valor. Any fires you light with your posts are your own to put out.

8. And finally, remember to have fun!

Sgt Mom

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