Blogger Adventure On the USS Nimitz: Social Media At Sea

06 Last year Guy Kawasaki visited the USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier and hatched a plan with Dennis Hall and Bill Reichert to bring a group of bloggers on a embark the following year. As a result, a group of bloggers was chosen for that mission. I was thrilled to receive the official invite from Lieutenant Commander Charlie Brown, Public Affairs Director for the Commander – Naval Air Forces – Pacific (COMNAVAIRPAC) to be part of the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) Embark May 29-30.


The USS Nimitz is an aircraft supercarrier in the United States Navy. We were invited on the Nimitz as bloggers to experience life on the carrier and bring that perspective back to our audiences, an opportunity I could not resist. Also, when the Navy invites you to go, you go – its your duty! Not to mention the excitement of leaving my mom sweats at home and wearing a flightsuit instead, flying in a C-2A Greyhound to land on the carrier deck, watching the aircraft hooks catch the cable as they land on the flight deck (called “traps”), touring the carrier, talking with the crew and spending one night on board.




Here is a picture of Charlene Li (left) and me in pilot flight suits. I was singing the Top Gun theme song in my head while smiling for this picture.


Although the original invite list was a bigger group, the real adventurers who accepted the challenge to embark on the USS Nimitz were:


Blogging crew part 1 (left to right): Andrew Nystrom ,Beth Blecherman, Guy Kawasaki ,Charlene Li , Captain Mike Manazir, Jenny Lawson, Jennifer Leo,Jennifer Van Grove, Bill Reichert.



Blogging Crew part 2: Dennis Hall, Robert Scoble, Pamela Slim, Captain Mike Manazir, Jennifer Jones, Andy Sernovitz, Jefferson Wagner a.k.a. Zuma Jay.


Captain (Mr.) Carroll LeFon, USN (ret.) (not pictured) was also on the Embark. He not only wore his cool flight style leather jacket throughout the embark, but also is a (dad) blogger himself and wrote a great post with details about the USS Nimitz. Guy Kawaski’s post provides chronological details of the trip and Jennifer Van Grove with her impressions. Jennifer Jones was the trip podcaster. Charlene Li’s post has a summary with links to all of our posts. Andrew Nystrom from the LA Times and Robert Scoble have Flickr groups. Andy Sernovitz and Pamela Slim posted with lessons learned. Chris Pirillo went on an Embark the weekend after our trip.

Beth Blecherman's USS Nimitz Blogger Embark 09 photoset Beth Blecherman’s USS Nimitz Blogger Embark 09 photoset



I loaded my pictures to Flickr the day after I returned from the trip. But it took me a few of weeks to post. First I had end of school year activities to manage and then a week with all three boys at home to deal with. Any working mom knows that time with their kids is priceless but exhausting. My prime blogging time (9pm – 12am) was impacted after spending full days with my boys. I just sat in bed each night next to my computer with no energy to type. Instead, I turned on episodes of my favorite shows recorded on TIVO including The Daily Show and The Stephen Colbert show. Luckily I found the final motivation to write my Nimitz post after seeing that Stephen Colbert had also ventured on a trip to support our troops with his four-day (U.S.O. tour) “Operation Iraqi Stephen: Going Commando”.


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USS Nimitz Blogger Adventure – Night Before Dinner

Tonight we opened our USS Nimitz blogger adventure with a dinner. The surprising thing is that with a room full of high powered social media types, none of us went near our computers or smartphones during dinner.

Good to know that live discussions are not dead.

Except we did talk about various types of social media including Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed and Alltop – but not about blogging. The new focus is about sharing information with your community and filtering your own information to keep track of what is most important.

We also asked questions about the USS Nimitz and heard about the interest that the Navy has in bridging the needs of those on the ship to communicate with the outside world. We will be learning lots more tomorrow. We will all be offline <shriek> during our time on the USS Nimitz -but will report back with our fun and excitement went we return.

Or as Andy Sernovitz said, when we return from our mission.


This is a picture of our lead blogger and organizer for this trip Guy Kawasaki sitting next to Robert Scoble. Both had lots of interesting things to say, but I don't need to repeat any of it. They do quite a good job of communicating on their own with Twitter and Friendfeed! Robert's wife Maryam and their son also joined us for dinner.


Andy Sernovitz is sitting next to  Charlene Li.  Charlene Li and I flew from San Francisco together, and she shared lots of great insight on Leadership and family management. I took copious mental notes about the family management and am sure my three boys will be thrilled to hear the new rules when I return.


Bill Reichert with Guy Kawasaki

Dennis Hall (organizer of the event with Guy Kawasaki)  is standing next to Lieutenant Commander Charlie Brown, Public Affairs Director for the Commander – Naval Air Forces – Pacific (COMNAVAIRPAC) who invited us all. Jenny Lawson and Jennifer Van Grove were sitting next to the Lieutenant. Pamela Slim was across the way but had to go to an event for her book. Jenny Lawson is as funny in person as she is in her blog, and Jennifer Van Grove was humble about the blog she is a Co-Editor of (none other then the top site "Mashable").


Robert Scoble sitting next to Captain (Mr.) Carroll LeFon, USN (ret.).


I (Beth Blecherman) am sitting next to the birthday girl Jennifer Jones (today is her birthday).


Best of all, after admiring the beautiful necklace worn by Jennifer Leo she told us it is really a teething ring for her 6 month old. Fashion meets functionality…


Using Navy Speak Acronym Widget – Prep for USS Nimitz

I just saw this website has a Navy Speak Acronym Widget. The site is not only a great website, but that tool can be useful for anyone. This reminds me of the text acronym website I blogged about in my texting post. It is good to know there are online resources for Navy Moms and for acronyms!

I am heading off to the USS Nimitz blogger trip today. Reviewing the Navy Speak Acronyms, Military Alltop, and the USS Nimitz website were valuable tools to prepare. The good news is that the trip will be the adventure of a lifetime. The challenge will be that there is no Wi-Fi on the trip – so I will be going offline for a couple of days. I will be taking lots of pictures and will be sure to share when I return. For now, here is my post and Guy Kawaski's post from last year to get a taste of the adventure we are in store for!

TechMamas: TechMama Joins The Bloggers Embark To The USS Nimitz
Guy Kawaski (post from last year): 26 Hours at Sea: The Longest Posting in the History of Blogging

Here are some songs I will be singing to prepare: Top Gun And Major-General from Pirates of Penzance (thanks to Andy Sernovitz for the later song recommendation). Jenny "The Bloggess" Lawson and I just talked and decided to give each other emotional support during Navy C-2 Greyhound ride..


TechMama Joins The Bloggers Embark To The USS Nimitz

I was thrilled to be invited by Lieutenant Commander Charlie Brown, Public Affairs Director for the Commander – Naval Air Forces – Pacific (COMNAVAIRPAC) to be part of a Blogger Embark aboard the USS Nimitz later this month. We'll be flying to and from the Nimitz on a Navy C-2 Greyhound (twin-turboprop Navy Transport) where we will witness Navy and Marine Corps life at sea.

Here is the list of Blogger Embarkees: Charlene Li , Jennifer Leo, Jenny Lawson, Pamela Slim, Jennifer Van Grove, Jennifer Jones, Guy Kawasaki , Bill ReichertJefferson Wagner a.k.a. Zuma Jay, Robert ScobleAndy Sernovitz, Andrew Nystrom , Dennis Hall, Captain (Mr.) Carroll LeFon, USN (ret.), Chris Pirillo, and I (Beth Blecherman).

Guy Kawasaki, Dennis Hall, Bill Reichert Bloggers' Embark meeting 10-08-08Guy Kawasaki is the lead Blogger for our first visit, his second. He had the opportunity to visit the USS John C. Stennis last year. His post, " 26 Hours at Sea: The Longest Posting in the History of Blogging", describes his adventure. The picture on the left is at Garage Ventures when the idea for this Blogger's Embark was hatched (Guy Kawasaki on left, pictured with Dennis Hall and Bill Reichert). 

F-18 Hornets pitch-out

Dennis Hall provided some information on what we will see: "Here is a shot of a scene you will see typically during your embark. It shows F-18 Hornet fighter jets arriving for landings or 'traps' in formation and individually pitching out for their descent to the flightdeck. The Navy Blue Angels fly F-18s."

Here is a subset of the group that could make an early evening meetup in Silicon Valley to discuss the Embark:

Bloggers' Embark icebreaker - Dennis Hall, Beth Blecherman, Jennifer Jones, Robert Scoble, Charlene Li 

Pictured left to right: Dennis Hall, Beth Blecherman, Jennifer Jones, Robert Scoble, Charlene Li

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