22 May, 2006

Fuzzy on FOX (Ack!)

This embarrasses the heck outta me. Fortunately, linking it here won't give me any additional exposure, but at least it'll let me say my piece.

Mike Lawhorn did a great job with the article. But I cringed at my own words characterizing me as the "idea person" behind Valour-IT, though I don't doubt I used that phrase. It was an attempt to explain that so many people had been involved in such significant ways that I didn't want to take all the credit for making it happen. In the interview, that line of thought actually led to my pointing out the "connections" aspect (how Valour-IT succeeded because we had connections to people with much bigger voices than me or even John) that Lawhorn mentions below.

I truly struggle to describe my current role in Valour-IT, so it's my fault for not expressing myself more clearly (guess that should be part of my interview prep, haha). If anything, Chuck and I had the idea at nearly the same time, it's just that I wasn't recovering from an IED explosion and so was in a position to actively work towards the dream. I guess I need to learn to speak in better sound bites, haha!

Anyway, here's the section relevant to this blog:

Both John Donovan, whose milblog is at http://www.thedonovan.com/, and "Beth," who runs Fuzzilicious Thinking, point out that connectivity is the key. Not all milblogs get large volumes of traffic, but even the seldom-read are often connected to other blogs that have larger readerships or are in turn read by those with access to a greater audience.

Beth calls herself the "idea person" behind Project Valour IT, which provides voice-activated laptop computers to wounded military personnel unable to use regular PCs. Her own blog gets "around 40 hits a day" [Fbl sez: since the conference, the average is 70 to 100] and she credits her success to Donovan's contacts. "He brought in people like The Indepundit... and Blackfive," she said. "It was John that made them take me seriously. I'm not a big milblogger, but I know the biggies."

"My daily traffic is less than that of my local newspaper, but my daily traffic includes people who read the National Review, who read Slate," said Donovan. "So when they come to my Web site and see Fuzzy's post and I chop it off to Jonah, and [others] ... you got 43,000 visits for that post."

In fact, most of the interview with Lawhorn was more my trying to deflect attention from me personally and direct it instead to Valour-IT and how the milblog community at large made it successful. He seemed to be more interested in Fuzzilicious than Valour-IT, so I was trying to explain that Valour-IT didn't happen because I was a big blogger (I'm not!), but because I had contacts with the big bloggers.

My comment about Indepundit and Blackfive was not an attempt to say that I had personal success with my blog, but that I was able to get out the word about Valour-IT through my blog contacts. At that point in the interview, I jumped up and brought John to Lawhorn to explain how his bigger connections gave small people like me a megaphone because the story in my mind wasn't about my blog, it was about Valour-IT.

At that point, Lawhorn seemed to have no more questions for me. And after I didn't see an article from him on Valour-IT, I figured the story was dead. Imagine my shock to see John announce "Fuzzybear made FOX News!" on H&I Fires today. I'll talk about Valour-IT all day, but I'm truly mortified to see Fuzzilicious Thinking featured in a FOX News article.

Mike, thanks so much for the exposure you gave Valour-IT and for your continuing support for the project. Your efforts are going to help the wounded, I'm quite sure, and so I'm deeply grateful. Exposure for Valour-IT was at least half the reason I attended the MilBlog Conference. But too bad there wasn't a way to make people notice the project without noticing me, haha!

Now I think I'll go lay down with a cool cloth on my burning face...

And when I finally go out in public again, I'll be the one with the paper bag on my head. Don't notice me, okay? I'm just little Fuzzybear... :)