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Archive for August, 2007

House to House

Last night, I received a preview copy of the new Iraq war memoir House to House, written by war hero SSG David Bellavia. For full disclosure, it was sent to me (and a few other military bloggers) by publisher Simon & Schuster for review.

The book hits stores next week. In the mean time, the D-Ring will have a review, as well as a conversation with the folks at Simon & Schuster about their efforts to reach out to milbloggers to promote this book.

Guess I have my weekend reading assignment.

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Man down?

I noticed today that Army Lawyer’s blog appears to have been deleted and replaced with a standard WordPress welcome.

Was the anonymity of this active duty officer compromised?

Regardless, it is disappointing. Army Lawyer was one of my favorite reads in the milblogosphere.

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Wow. Lots of embedded videos this week.

Have you wondered about this “social bookmarking” thing? And why it beneficial/helpful/transformative? The Common Craft Show has a great explanation for you in under four minutes. Check it out.

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On an unrelated note…

Ok. I know this isn’t about the military or new media.

But given that I posted earlier today about successful videos on YouTube (and the viral phenomenon of Miss Teen South Carolina’s botched answer on education), I had to share this.

I almost pissed myself watching it. Enjoy.

Note: Those reading the RSS feed, click through so you can see the embedded video. Trust me, it is worth it.

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Dear America Supports You,

Today, I noticed you have a new channel on YouTube. It looks like it was created sometime last week. Well done for putting good video online, like this one:

My praise for you, however, ends there.

Putting video online is not a communications strategy. It is a necessary step to get out your message; if it is not uploaded, it has no chance to be seen. However, it is not sufficient.

John Bell notes that this is one of the four myths of viral video:

Plopping a video on YouTube is a digital strategy. That’s the third part of the myth. It says that something that is worth talking about will find its own audience organically (i.e. with no marketing effort) and will gain viral velocity until it reaches millions. Duncan Watts would point out that most ‘viral’ things die off before reaching what anyone would claim is a tipping point of volume. If part of a digital strategy includes video(s) that will grab people’s attention then we need to support them with smart, authentic promotion. Viral videos go better with outreach and advertising. This seems couterintuitive if you as a marketer are using video to raise awareness of some engagement opportunity with your brand online. Now we want you to promote the promotion? If you are designing a truly engaging experience for your users than this will make sense. If you want to use video as your entire strategy, then it may not make sense.

Not surprisingly, in four days, the five videos uploaded to your page have accumulated fewer than 100 views. Combined.

Compare that to this one clip of Miss Teen South Carolina answering a question about education (with hilarity ensuing):

That clip, in just two days, has had over 2 million views on YouTube.

The trick to successful online video is (a) having compelling content, (b) making it sharable and (c) letting people know it is out there.

You have taken the first step. Time to get moving on the other two.

Best,
Steve

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New D-Ring Design

In case you haven’t noticed (or get the D-Ring through RSS), the D-Ring has a new design. It’s very similar and still has one of my favorite pictures of the Pentagon, but I think the overall theme is a bit more clean.

Like the change? Let me know.

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DoD hearts Wikipedia

From Ares:

… As much time as [Department of Homeland Security] employees are spending editing Wikipedia entries, their work is nothing compared to the folks at the Department of Defense, whose .mil account holders have been very busy on Wikipedia. The defense agency with the most edits originating from its .mil address is Army’s Network Information Center, with 43,823 edits. The U.S. Air Forces comes in second with 21,478 edits, while the Naval Surface Warfare Center has 18, 591. The numbers drop dramatically from there with fourth and fifth place going to the Pentagon overall and the Office of the Secretary of Defense at 3,355 and 2,685 edits, respectively.

I’m curious to see what has been edited. Anyone want to take a gander at Wiki Scanner to see?

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