Archive for April, 2007

You might have noticed a new RSS feed in the right-hand column. That is because today, United States Joint Forces Command is beginning to liveblog a homeland security exercise they are conducting: “Noble Resolve.”

From enterprising PAO Spc. Andrew Orillion:

We will be live blogging from the site of the first “Noble Resolve”, a
series of homeland defense experiments using the latest in modeling and
simulation technology. The objective is to examine ways to improve
defense support of civilian authorities before and during man-made and
natural disasters. You can more here

This is a huge event with officials from U.S. Northern, European,
Pacific, Strategic and Transformation commands, the Coast Guard,
Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Emergency Management
Agency among the more than 100 participants attending the event.
Officials from the Canadian and German military will also be present.

Apparently, this isn’t the first time the command has used liveblogging — which is good, because this type of event is the perfect platform.

I’ll have the feed up for the duration of the exercise.

Great job JFCOM in taking an innovative approach to tell your story.

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A lot of military organizations have contacted me in the past few weeks for some tips on reaching out to the blogosphere.

I think this great post from Beltway Blogroll (a must read, IMHO) sums it up best:

Washington flacks should read it and ponder what will work best for them. Here it is:

Church Of The Customer: “Get to know bloggers before pitching them. Build a relationship before a pitch. Introduce yourself to a blogger with an email or phone call. Explain your work and your clients. Ask … if future news about your industry or clients is of interest to them. Seek permission.”

Emergence Media, which has compiled a guide on how to pitch bloggers: “It’s one thing to know the A-list bloggers; its another to know what mid-tier blogs they read. Just like in regular PR, you may need to hit the mid-tier bloggers (who are read by the A-list bloggers) before you get covered by the big leagues. Don’t be fooled by looking only at Alexa data or Technorati rankings; see who links to them, too.”

WebProNews: “I’ve been involved in several blogger outreach efforts recently. In each case, I carefully read several posts and comments, along with ‘About This Blog’ details, then crafted an individual message to that blogger. … [M]ost bloggers appreciate solid content they can write about that’s consistent with the focus of their blogs, assuming you approach them correctly.”

It’s all about relationships, folks. So play nice with bloggers.

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Half staff

Blogger John Aravosis asks:

Why do we fly the flag at half-staff for the VA Tech victims, for deceased US Senators and judges, but not for our soldiers fallen in war?

The answer? I don’t know. But we should.

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Bad use of widgets

Don’t you love it when you are going through your files and find something that you wanted to write about a few months ago, but never got around to?

That happened to me today.

A couple months ago, I took a screen shot of a Widget (presumably created by OSD Public Affairs) that syndicates news from DOD through a widget created by SpringWidget that anyone can download and post to their blog, Web site, etc.

Widgets are a relatively new addition to the Web 2.0 world, but many social media luminaries (including my colleague Steve Rubel) are saying they are the next big thing.

So lets review:

  • Widgets = good
  • Widgets syndicating your content for you = very good
  • Not having good content = bad

And they say there is no good news coming out of Iraq…

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D-Ring News Wire 4.20.07

From Army.mil:

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, April 20, 2007) – Changes to the Army’s operations security regulation address accountability, new technology and the inclusion of all Army personnel in OPSEC practices.

The revised Army Regulation 530-1, “Operations Security,” provides updated definitions; aligns the Army’s policies, terms and doctrine with the Defense Department; and brings Army Contractors into the fold while addressing the role Army Family Members have in OPSEC.

“The change includes Army Civilians and Contractors, who are not subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice,” said Maj. Ray Ceralde, the Army OPSEC program manager and author of the revision. “The reason we included Contractors in the regulation is they’re more involved in operations today than ever before. If you have all your Soldiers and DA Civilians practicing OPSEC and your Contractors – who are an integral part of your operations – aren’t … well, you have a gaping hole in security that could affect everyone’s lives.”

Maj. Ceralde said OPSEC is a “total Army concept” and includes Families and friends though he acknowledged they aren’t subject to a commander’s orders.

Regulation changes also address how technology, specifically the Internet, has changed the face of OPSEC since the last major revision to the regulations in 1995. A 2005 revision addressed new technology, but the new revision addresses technological concerns not covered in the 2005 revision.

“The Internet, personal Web sites, blogs (Web logs) – those are examples of where our adversaries are looking for open-source information about us,” said Maj. Ceralde. “Open-source information isn’t classified and may look like nothing more than innocuous bits of information, a piece here, a piece there, like pieces of a puzzle. But when you put enough of the pieces together you begin to realize the bigger picture and that something could be going on.”


While Army personnel may maintain their own Web sites or post information on blogs, Maj. Ceralde said they have to be careful about what they write and what they post because even unclassified information can provide significant information to adversaries.

“For example, photos of deployed Soldiers to share with Family and friends are acceptable. However, when the photo includes a background of the inside of their camp with force protection measures in plain view, an adversary who is planning to attack their camp and sees a photo like this on the Internet now knows how to counter their force-protection measures,” Maj. Ceralde said.

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… is that things that have long vanished from the front page of a blog continued to be discovered (thanks to the like of Google Blog Search, Technorati and the like.)

One of the top search terms for my blog?


Because I slammed their YouTube video outreach efforts.

To their credit, Campbell-Ewald has done a good job of search engine optimization. (I am in the top 10 of Google, but for a more flattering follow-up I wrote.)

In a searchable online world, your reputation is harder and harder to protect. Search may forgive.

But it never forgets.

Update: An interesting addendum to my point about search from Alice at Presto Vivace.

Update: Lots of visitors from Campbell-Ewald today… any of you care to share? Would love to hear from you in the comments.

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One hundo

Good news, D-Ring fans (at least to me, anyhow).

On Sunday, The D-Ring crossed a milestone, and there are now over 100 readers who subscribe to the D-Ring RSS feed (in addition to my readers who read directly from the site.)

So thanks to all of you who have subscribed, commented, e-mailed, linked, and shared your thoughts on the military and new media. Talking about these issues with you is the reason I keep writing. Well, that, and I am just interested in this stuff in general. So it is a little about me. But it’s also about you.

If you haven’t yet signed up for the D-Ring Feedburner feed (or are subscribing to the not-as-good WordPress feed that came with this blog), click the big orange RSS icon to the right and start getting the D-Ring sent to your reader.

The last six months have been a fun ride, and I am excited to continue sharing with you all.

See you in the D-Ring.

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