In a haunted harkening back to my bog article last Friday, You are an Electronic Jigsaw Puzzle, the Air Force is funding a new study of blogs to “provide information analysts and warfighters with invaluable help in fighting the war on terrorism.” In the 650-word press release announcing the new Air Force blog analysis, the word warfighter appears twice.
Dr. Brian E. Ulicny, senior scientist, and Dr. Mieczyslaw M. Kokar, president, Versatile Information Systems Inc., Framingham, Mass., will receive approximately $450,000 in funding for the 3-year project entitled Automated Ontologically-Based Link Analysis of International Web Logs for the Timely Discovery of Relevant and Credible Information.
It can be challenging for information analysts to tell what’s important in blogs unless you analyze patterns, Ulicny said. Patterns include the content of the blogs as well as what hyperlinks are contained within the blog.
I wonder if this new analysis of blogs will be human-based or Bot-based
and if we’ll start seeing “Air Force Bot” in our list of blog visitors
along with the usual automated crawlers from MSN, Yahoo! and the Google
Will we be able — or allowed — to block that Air Force bot from
adding our blog entries and comments into a military database for
Blog entries have a different structure, Ulicny said.
They are typically short and are about something external to the blog
posting itself , such as a news event. It’s not uncommon for a blogger
to simply state, I can’t believe this happened, and then link to a news
In this example, Ulicny said, there might not be much of interest in
the blog posting, yet the fact that the blogger called attention to
this story can be significant to understanding what matters.
A good example, he said, is the recent furor in the Muslim world over
the publication of cartoons of Mohammad in a Danish newspaper. The
original publication wasn’t much noticed in the West, but bloggers
discussed this event that possibly contributed to riots worldwide.
The fact that the web is a vast source of information is sometimes
overlooked by military analysts, Kokar said. Our research goal is to
provide the warfighter with a kind of information radar to better
understand the information battlespace.
Is it chilling how Dr. Ulicny tries to forge a connection to the Muslim
rioters and bloggers?
Is it news to you bloggers now live and work in an “information
battlespace” according to Dr. Kokar?
Information demands appropriate context and analysis — but the
preexisting expectation of the frame and the brain applied to that
information is what can create a dangerous mind over what matters.