MilBlogs as they have come to be called are a very interesting development for obvious reasons, but Neil takes it a step further when I he links to movies being made by other military personnel on their operations and daily life.
Now, I don't see the making movies bit as anything new really, soldiers have always been documenting their experiences with various technologies, true though the technology available these days makes these documentaries quite mind blowing for spectators. But it's the network communications supporting all this that opens up new possibilities.
Neil posted back in February about a suicide bomber attack on his company that was miss represented by the broadcast media. Aside from it being interesting to see how often the mainstream media broadcasters get it wrong according to the milblogs I read, Neils post about this attack contained a small request to his reader that blows my mind,
...The BEST part is that his jackass terrorist friend was videotaping it... If anyone can tell me where to find that video clip on the internet, a lot of us in my company are curious as to whether they taped it while hiding in a certain village.
There is something about this request that both excites and disturbs me. Neil is requesting intelligence assistance from his Inter-network to help him locate a target, to help him learn something. If it wasn't such a dramatic subject with potentially fatal consequences for some people, then it wouldn't be such a concern. The excitement is of course in the use of the Inter-network to learn.
We see it very often in the TALO egroup. Members have often posted to the eGroup requesting links, names, comments, and resources. I assume they are asking the group because they can't find it themselves, but perhaps its more productive to just ask the network then the Google machine. I mean, if I asked Google, I'd spin out in all sorts of directions, discovering stuff just as useful and/or interesting, but not what I was looking for. With such experiences with search engines, it would possible be more productive (in terms of the objective) and less time consuming for me to simply flick an email to the eGroup or some other network and see what comes back.