Milblogs  

Over the course of the last decade, blogging has evolved from an obscure and specialized activity confined to a small group of technological enthusiasts to a popular phenomenon that has been embraced by politicians, corporate concerns, and the media. In recent years, one particular niche of the blog world has been generating a great deal of media attention. Military bloggers, or milbloggers, are bloggers who are either serving in the military, have served in the military, or are related to someone in the military (typically spouses and children). Online journals are not only an easy, cheap, and immediate way for families to keep in contact long distance, many milbloggers also use their sites as a public venue to relate their experiences, frustrations, and opinions. Never before have soldiers been able to speak so candidly to a national, even international, public. Nor have American citizens had the opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge of war and its soldiers as the conflict is playing out.

Milblogs are a relatively unknown sector of the blogosphere but are valuable informational sources for anyone interested in reading an alternative and highly-personalized perspective of the war. Milblogs’ unique portrayal of the Iraq and Afghan Wars indicates their future value as historical resources. Modern scholars sift through letters and diaries from past American conflicts, but someday soon they will be turning to the digital-born resources of the 21st century for their research, if they have not already.