MilBlog Conference 2010 (MBC) - 2

Next panel is Social Media and the Military.

Moderated by: Lindy Kyzer Panelists: Captain David Werner, LTC Andrew Morton, Gregory Reeder, Robert M. (“Bob”) Bohanek

Read more: Milblog Conference

1. Policy landscape: DoD recently disbanded it's social media component. How do you see social media transforming?
LTC Morton: In terms of policy...there's no turning back. Even if the SecDef wanted to shut down some of the external components, he couldn't. It's not a policy, it's not a platform. It's you - the people in this audience and on the 'net. There are ROE but the bottom line is that our policy is to make sure that you have accessibility to our leaders and that our soldiers have accessibility to your blogs.

2. Is there a policy?
CPT Warner: The Navy does have a policy - personal use and professional memos. You can't legislate "Don't be stupid." But the Navy's policy is that we're burning the boats - we're there to stay and we're not going back. Now the question is how do we arm and train our sailors in this situation? Time to shed some 20th century thinking.

Greg Reader: The Corps has policy for each aspect - all based on old models. Things happen so fast that, once you get the policy out, you have to amend it. And that doesn't even beging to cover the legal issues. You can't wait on Terms of Service - moves too quickly. Hard to put teeth to a policy so we fly by the seat of our pants. Policy can't keep up.

Bob Bohanic - the leadership has no clue what we're doing with social media. It's like toothpaste - it's left the tube and you can't get it back in.

3. What's the current landscape for educating servicemembers in social media?
LTC Morton: less than 1 out of 4 bloggers is a servicemember. So accessibility to soldiers and leadership is the key issue. The Army has put together a social media primer. It's a G6 fight - information and information assurance.

4. Top 40 companies are doing the same thing now that the DoD is doing - creating policy. There are resources out there in the private industry - use them.
LTC Morton: the flip side is that civilian industry looks at the DoD for inspiration as well.
Bob Bohanic: when you try to build a social platform, you'll succeed. If you're trying to make a buck, you're going to fail.

5. Are you seeing a synergy between social media and the news cycle?
CPT Warner: Operation Tomodachi as the example. 7th Fleet's Facebook page adds detail and clarification to a news story about the USS Reagan and radioactivity that affected the MSM's story. So yes, there is a synergy.

More coming - going to go take a few pictures.


- hfs

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