Sunday, June 3, 2012

Virtual Conference: Celebrating Seapower Online

Welcome to the 5th Anniversary of Information Dissemination. Five years ago with the help of a few friends and a simple paragraph, I decided to start a blog to learn how this social media thing worked. It has been a very enjoyable five years.

To celebrate five years of online discussion related to Maritime Strategy and Strategic Communications, for the month of June Information Dissemination will be hosting a Virtual Conference sponsored by the United States Naval Institute. Sixteen leading voices in the maritime discussion with careers in the US Navy, academia, and private industry have graciously contributed their time, their mind, and their ideas towards subjects that have been discussed, debated, and disseminated on these pages over the last five years.

The Agenda for the Information Dissemination 5th Anniversary Virtual Conference

June 4 Owen Cote
June 5 Mike Petters
June 6 Mitt Romney Campaign
June 7 Chris Cavas
June 8 Feedback and Discussion

June 11 Stephen Carmel
June 12 Robert Rubel
June 13 Barack Obama Campaign
June 14 Andrew S. Erickson
June 15 Feedback and Discussion

June 18 Rear Admiral Dennis J. Moynihan
June 19 Admiral James G. Stavridis
June 20 Vice Admiral Allen G. Myers
June 21 Vice Admiral Michael H. Miller
June 22 Feedback and Discussion

June 25 Wayne Hughes
June 26 Andrew Exum
June 27 Randy Forbes
June 28 Jan van Tol
June 29 Feedback and Discussion

Each of these esteemed gentlemen has been given a tailored, yet open question and asked to give a response, and as the only person who has read their responses let me assure you that this website is going to be very competitive with the rest of the world in providing you with the most stimulating, thought provoking, intelligent content you will read this month. I truly cannot express my genuine appreciation to our esteemed guests, as the responses from all of them has far exceeded even my usually high expectations.

Each speaker in the conference will have the only article published on their day, but on Fridays other ID contributors may choose to publish articles in discussion of the articles published by our guest contributors that week. On weekends the site will run as usual with the conference kicking back into gear the following Monday.

You might be wondering what Feedback and Discussion is. It is an idea modeled after the Comment and Discussion found in Proceedings magazine - basically if you would like to email me a professional comment for feedback and discussion, and don't mind your name attached to it - I will take the best of those emails each week and publish them on Friday within the Feedback and Discussion thread.

The Disqus comments will be open for each article.

Thank You

I would like to thank the sponsor of this months Virtual Conference, the United States Naval Institute, and specifically VADM Peter Daly USN (ret), Bill Miller, and Mary Ripley. In a very short time as CEO Peter Daly has guided the United States Naval Institute as the organization evolves as the premier publisher of national security related content in the 20th century to being a fully integrated publishing and national security network focused on seapower in the 21st century - a network that all big ideas in the maritime community want to be associated with.

In January of 2010 I was in San Diego for the US Naval Institute WEST conference and found myself talking with an Air Force General and his Public Affairs Officer. On my name tag I was listed as with the US Naval Institute organization because my role was to write about the events of the conference - it was why I was there. The General pointed to my name tag and told me that for his entire career the US Naval Institute and specifically Proceedings magazine has given the US Navy an advantage over the other services, because the brand has a prestige and aura of authority regarding national security matters with the decision makers and thought leaders of the United States that no other organization has.

That is still true today, and I believe it is plainly obvious to even a casual observer. I note that if you take even a casual look at the maritime related social media communities on the internet you will notice that nearly all of them are networked in some way with the United States Naval Institute - see the banner demonstrating sponsorship on Sailor Bob as one anecdotal point, and note the frequent collaboration between the US Naval Institute and the Small Wars Journal (run by a retired Marine) as another anecdotal point.

Give Bill Miller and Mary Ripley a lot of credit - they have set the bar for what an engaged national security network online looks like, and in my opinion it is pretty awesome. If I was to meet that Air Force General again today, I would point out that the US Naval Institute is insuring that the US Navy will enjoy the same advantage in the online thought driven domains in the 21st century that the service enjoyed in the 20th century.

As the Virtual Conference begins this week on Information Dissemination, the US Naval Institute is rolling out their latest web offerings managed by their new online editor Sam Lagrone, who you might recognize as a former Janes reporter whom I have cited on these pages many, many times. That big USNI link at the top of this website will be updated as soon as the new product goes live, and I hope you take the opportunity to check it out.

I would also like to thank a few more people for making this event possible. I would like to thank my fellow authors, who truly are a unique and diverse collection of thought leaders in the online maritime community today. Without their hard work this site would not have developed into the community we have become today.

I would like to thank Rob Farley, Bryan McGrath, and LCDR Claude Berube, USNR for helping me with questions and suggestions for the conference speakers.

I would like to thank CDR Salamander, Steeljaw Scribe, Sailor Bob, and my band of brothers - all of whom are either active or retired naval officers, and all of whom teach me something new every day.

Finally I would like to thank you for being a member of this community. It takes all of us to make this a professional open community, and it is the information and ideas of all of us that makes this community great. I truly believe you will thoroughly enjoy the topics and discussions this month, so sit back, relax, and enjoy.

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