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Sail across the Atlantic in a WHAT?!

I have been taking a bit of a break on writing because I had been traveling cross country with my husband on a PCS move. Having a little more time I figured I would discuss a few things that have caught my attention recently, starting with this guy who thinks he built the ultimate boat and is going to do something that is arrogant, and protentially fatally stupid with it. Continue reading


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Time out

Taking a quick break from posting as I get my work together, I will be posting again soon!

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Michael Jackson’s death and the reliability of social media

So with the death of Michael Jackson today, Twitter has been abuzz (atweet?) as has Plurk, Youtube, Facebook, and just about every where else people can post their commentary for the death of the King of Pop.

Watching the news about Jackson’s death unfold was interesting because I was in the middle of BFE South Dakota and did not really have access to the TV, Radio or anything else other than my iPhone easily at hand (as I was enjoying being too lazy to reach behind my seat get my laptop and the Mifi out). So, I was poking around my Facebook and Twitter accounts when I saw people start posting about his death.  The only way I even heard the news was because I was looking at Twitter. What made the whole thing so interesting was that I saw at least 4 tweets from friends saying Jackson was dead before he was…and when I followed the retweet trail…I realized that people were just retweeting without following up on the news.

The kicker? Jackson was not dead when the tweets started saying he was, he was just in a coma. (Mind you within a short amount of time he was actually dead, but still)I found this out because I took the news with a “huh, I wonder if that is actually true” attitude and dug a little deeper.

Then the fake stories of celebrity deaths started appearing on the web and the sheeple on the social media sites (the ones who just follow along and retweet without thought) including the fake death of Jeff Goldblum (Yes the linked story is fake) and a whole bunch of nonsense about Harrison Ford.

What you have is a couple trolls thinking it funny to use the sudden death of one more celebrity this week (that is 3 in a week I think?) to stir things up . So, these people post outlandish stories about who also died and then a whole bunch of other people who don’t bother to check their facts pass it on.

This is overall a great example of how social media isn’t always a good thing, because sometimes the stories can run ahead of the actual facts. Okay, in some cases, like the fake stories about Ford and Goldblum…social media doesn’t just get ahead of the facts they don’t even have any foundation in reality. It’s like a game of telephone on steriods.

Today’s social media BS-pandemic is a pretty dramatic example about how people need to be a little more cautious about the information they take as “fact” when it comes to what they hear on any social media forum (or anywhere else for that matter). When you are reading something think about who is writing it, what agenda do they have…what credibility?

Heck, there are number people out there who will tell you all sorts of things about the Coast Guard (in case you haven’t been following the blog long I work for the Coast Guard), claiming that they have proof and facts… but in reality many of them are just trolls who have no proof of what they are saying (not even going to link to them, don’t feed the trolls!)…they are just disgruntled and want to stir $h1% up. Good for them, personally I would find a more satisfying outlet for my anger at the world, like underwater electric basket weaving.

Having seen this time and time again, and not just in reference to the Coast Guard,  it can be pretty irritating watching someone who obviously has a personal agenda make things up and try to pass them off as fact. Or, just as irritating the people who take everything they read as fact and pass on the stupid. I wonder how Goldblum felt when he found out that he had been declared dead by the internet?

Seriously? Make it a habit of looking at the about page for any blog you read, and following the weblink/bio of anyone you are looking at on Twitter. I don’t know about you, but I want to know who it is I am reading. After looking all that information about the author up,  I still follow up on what they said before I pass it along. Why? Because that is the responsible thing to do.

Social media can be a good thing, a great thing even, for education and broadening your understanding of the world through interaction with the human factor on a global scale…but there are a lot of trolls out there and just like you wouldn’t trust everyone you meet at a bar, people really need to check their facts before reposting information (or believing it) online.

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An aside- follow up to Iran post

Remember how I mentioned Neda and posted her video a couple days ago talking about Iran and how they were reported to be building one of the most advanced internet firewalls yet? Seems a firewall isn’t enough as reports are now that Neda’s family has been kicked out of their home and her body was buried without their knowledge and the proper rights.

If Iran was trying to make the world forget about her, that was completely the wrong way to do it…if this story in the Guardian is true they just made her a bigger martyr.

Their actions are violent, their burial of Neda was disrespectful to her family, and their firewall might be mighty I still argue is too little too late…you can’t unspill the blood that has splashed in the eyes of millions around the world. When Iran suddenly goes silent, Neda and others killed in the conflict will still be dying over and over in full view of the world.

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The AP, the social media policies they apply to their people…kind of surprising.

Armed service, military….major wire news service. Which do you think would be really restrictive on social media outlets? If just asked randomly I think most people would expect that the Coast Guard  as an armed service would probably have more strict rules than any media agency when it comes to regulating it’s personnel in the realm of social media. Yet from what I am reading and hearing, it looks like the AP wins on the strict social media rules. This kind of surprised me since, well, it is the AP…you know media? freedom of speech?

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New Blog

Having just come from writing a blog full time, I realized that I enjoy writing daily and sharing information…so I am going to give launching this blog a shot.

A little background I just finished some time being the first official blogger for the U.S. Coast Guard, I designed, planned, built and launched The Coast Guard Compass. I had been blogging for some time before that, starting back in 1998, but the Compass was a unique challenge due to the nature of blogging being a bit contrary to the nature of professional writing as a government representative. More on this in the near future.

With that being said, I should note here (as you will also find on the about page) that this blog you are reading now is not an official blog of the U.S. Coast Guard. This is unofficial, contains my personal perspectives and opinions…and is no way endorsed by any organization governmental or otherwise.

What will you find here? Well a running commentary on social media efforts, in the world and in the government, as well as the stories about being in my career field. Here we go….


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