According to a recent announcement by the US Department of Defense, a new study of blogs, to receive $450,000 in funding from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, is not about warbloggingÂ but about what sort of help blog research may provide in â€˜fighting the war on terrorismâ€™.
Two scientists at Framingham, Mass. Versatile Information Systems Inc.,Â Dr. Brian E. Ulicny, senior scientist and Dr. Mieczyslaw M. Kokar, president, will be managing the project entitled â€œAutomated Ontologically-Based Link Analysis of International Web Logs for the Timely Discovery of Relevant and Credible Informationâ€?.
I share some ofÂ bloggerÂ Tim Orenâ€™s concern over the â€˜ontologically-basedâ€™ part of the project description and the possible implication of a â€˜one-theory-fits-allâ€™ approach, especially in terms of cultural difference. But as Oren observes, there could be some useful civilian spinoff as well as militarily applicable outcomes.
I looked for signs of a blog, either corporate or individual, on the Versatile Information Systems website, but to no avail. Without knowing whether or not the scientists blog, I wondered which would be better for a scientific study of blogging, for the scientists to have practical, personal experience of blogging, or not?
And as a former public servant and sometime consultant to government, I wonder what possibilities this story suggests for further blogging research/consultancy in the government space?