Category Archives: Social Media

Oops…meant to post this a couple days ago.

So I was distracted by the cross country road trip with my husband and didn’t post as much in the last few days as I had planned.

One thing I have been using a lot is my account on thisMoment.com, and I have to say I am just more and more impressed with the site. It is easy to update from wherever, by email you can post moments, video and pictures just like that. I am really hoping they come out with an iPhone app for the thing and then it will be perfect.

It has a great timeline feature, where you can follow a person’s timeline on a trip or through an event. There is a comment feature and places to comment. I really would suggest checking it out. I actually used it way more than Twitter during our cross country roadtrip.

To me the difference between the two is that thisMoment is a place to actually record those little moments (like staying in the smallest hotel room in South Dakota) to remember them later or share them with other people…and you can say more than 140 characters. Twitter is still the fastest way to transmit quick clips and information…thisMoment is where you can share things in more depth and store memories.

I recently was linked to Posterous, and wasn’t nearly as impressed. It is just another blog site. Unlike thisMoment, I do not see anything really new or inspiring about this site.

The last time I posted about thisMoment, I mentioned that I thought it might be a good site for the Coast Guard to try out. Here is how I see that working, if someone was underway…say on their first patrol to the Arctic, or doing ATON work, the story could be followed in the neat small clips and pictures that thisMoment allows. Instead of using Flickr, Twitter, and trying to come up with huge long blog entries they could post as much or as little as they want with simple emails. Using the email system would also be helpful because it can be a real bear trying to load a webpage when on a boat. This way if the person is just too busy or too tired to write anything really long they could simply say “Reached the ice today!” add a small picture attachment and hit send…there done, story told!

The easier the better!

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The subject of anonymous

Please note: The opinions expressed on this web site are mine and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, or Justice; the Coast Guard or any other office or agency of the U.S. Government; or any organization, corporation, company, or anyone else other than the author. Just reminding you.

The subject of anonymous bloggers and those who leave comments is not exactly a new controversy. Basically the moment you had a place where people could comment/speak without any major repercussions…here comes a whole lot of drama.

As much as I loathe the sociopathic, narcissistic personalities who think trolling is acceptable and flaming people worthy of wasting time on, the whole anon thing is a tough call for me…because while I see why it leaves the door open for idiots to be rude it is also the security that some people need to be honest or to protect their privacy.

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ThisMoment

So I am checking out a new social media site called ThisMoment.com, which I will be experimenting with during my roadtrip with my husband from New Orleans to the West Coast.

Mostly it is an excuse to play with a new site and so far I am really enjoying ThisMoment. It has a smooth easy to use interface that is seamless and very dynamic. It is like Twitter meets Livejournal with a dash of Flickr and Youtube.  I think I am going to have a lot of fun with this.

Coast Guard application wise,  I think ThisMoment.com would be really sweet for an underway blog to get a deckplate level view following a Coast Guard crewmember.  You know me always thinking about how social media tools can be used for the Coast Guard…this one could be pretty cool.  Of course there would be security concerns (on the site you can release your location for example) but really? I think it could be a really great way to show what it is like, and because of the way it is set up it would be fairly simple for someone underway to keep up with on a multimedia level that is missing from Twitter. Pick an enlisted crew member, a non rate or whoever wants to, that is on their first underway trip to the Arctic, or someone who is doing their first patrol to wherever and share that experience. Not something for constant use like the Compass, or the Commandant’s blog, but for shorter term story telling.

So I am on ThisMoment.com tinkering around. Yes I know, I am also on Twitter (Tweetdeck I ❤ you), Facebook,  this blog, etc…how will I keep up with it all. Luckily much of it is integrated together and really when you think about it they all serve different functions. Twitter is a quick and easy way to give people updates (so I can stop answering the pesky question of where in the country I am now 15 times a day) and to share links for information. Facebook is obvious, a place to talk to friends share pictures, etc.

More to follow as I get more time to play with the site.

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Iran building towards a social media/internet black out?

Opposition supporters clash with riot police in Tehran, 20 June 2009

Opposition supporters clash with riot police in Tehran, 20 June 2009

In case you have been living in a cave for the last week or so (or have been otherwise cut off from communication not just by the Internet but around the water cooler, phone and everything else) here’s what is going on. There was an election, and a bunch of people were not happy about the results of the election. Instead of sitting around whining about hanging chads and complaining to their friends over a beer about how their party was robbed…the people of Iran are staging massive protests. Unlike here in the US where they use non-lethal weapons (Pellets, tear gas, firehoses) first…the Iranian protesters are being shot, beaten with clubs, tear gassed, you name it.

Sad to say but this is not the first time protesters somewhere in the world have been killed for standing up for something they believe in (coughChinacough) but the way the world is seeing and hearing about the whole thing is something considerably different than before. It isn’t the news media bringing us what is going on. It is social media.

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Facebook helps in SAR case

It seems a fitting way to start this blog by talking about this story, and how the Coast Guard used a social networking tool to find a missing fisherman. Essentially what happened is this: Call comes in that there is a truck and trailer, no signs of a meriner and it is past time where the mariner should have been sited. This means that the Coast Guard is going to search, and all searches are a little different. In this case they used the liscence plate to find a name for the owner of the truck…but before deploying assets (remember this part of the process from call to launch is vital, and can never EVER take too long) one of the SAR controllers decides to try something just a little different.

He searched on Facebook. As luck would have it…this worked and he ended up with not only an address but a phone number. Calling that number the SAR controller was able to speak to the fisherman directly.

I am sure there are people out there freaking out (OMG!! WTF! YOU CAN’T CONDUCT SAR USING FACEBOOK!!!) No…you can’t. You have to use the processes and follow the policies that are in place. That being said a good SAR controller is going to think outside the box and use any possible tool to successfully search for a missing person or vessel. Social media is providing new tools to the Coast Guard and this is just one more example of the plethora of uses we can find for it when we try.

Reading this article, and having championed social media to the Coast Guard for a while, I had this little voice in my head saying neeeener neeeener! Of course not being the mature choice instead I emailed the story to a bunch of people instead. A subtle electronic neener is much more mature than running around the office singing like a 5 year old.

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