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DOD still struggling with best approach to social media

As the Defense Department works to embrace social media, it's weighing operational security against the increasing need to share information – or else be rendered obsolete.

According to one DOD official, the right policies will help the department evolve as a reputable and up-to-date source of the information the public craves in the era of the instant news cycle.

“With policy we can budget for and facilitate expansion. We can train the troops better, and then they can train their families. That’s good for the public,” said Jack Holt, senior strategist for emerging media at the DOD’s Defense Media Activity office.

Training is key to maintaining DOD’s security mandate as well. “Operational security isn’t a technical problem, it’s a people problem,” Holt told an audience at the FOSE conference.

A clear doctrine for sharing within the network is also necessary to foster necessary collaboration. “We aren’t trained to collaborate. Since kindergarten it’s been, ‘Do you own work.’

While the idea of working together is integral in social media, it can be a hard sell in the confines of DOD culture. “Sometimes the Public Affairs Office may say, ‘This is just more work for us.’ But the chief information officer says, ‘This is our policy and this is how we’re doing it.’ We have to come to grips with this new way of [moving] information,” Holt said.

Posted by Amber Corrin on Mar 23, 2010 at 9:39 AM


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