The US Air Force recently published a free ebook on how social media is being used by Airmen. The free ebook, titled New Media and The Air Force , is a guide for Airmen to use in communicating the Air Force story to a broader community on the web. The guide teaches Airmen about entry level web 2.0 tools that can be used for purposes of engaging in blogs, social networking sites and other new media sites to communicate about topics within the areas of their expertise. Perhaps the most crucial purpose, among many cited by the Air Force, for training Airmen to use social media is that of ensuring truthful representation of the Air Force is conveyed online. In their words, "If the Air Force does not tell its own story, someone else will."
In addition to the free ebook, the Air Force also posted the video below to discuss its use of social media. The video, titled Air Force New Media , begins with the 2007 audio clip of Secretary of Defense Gates saying "It is just plain embarrassing that Al-Qaeda is better at communicating its message on the internet than America." The clip continues as Gates tells of a prior conversation with a foreign diplomat, in which he was asked how "one man in a cave managed to out communicate the world's greatest communications society?"
The Air Force video goes on to discuss the ways in which new and social media are being used to counter enemy propaganda, saying that these media outlets help to deliver the truth. The Air Force sees social media as a venue to make the entire Department of Defense more accessible and transparent for internet audiences in what they call a "communications platform plagued with misinformation, enemy propaganda and negative messages." Watch below for more about the Air Force and its use of social media.
In addition to these self posted Air Force resources, I want to share an interview conducted by my favorite new media guru, David Meerman Scott. In Scott's blog post, titled Launching Ideas at the U.S. Air Force, he interviews Capt. Nathan Broshear, Director of Public Affairs at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, AZ. You can watch David's interview with Nathan below to hear more about the Air Force's Public Affairs and insight on their use of social media.
Before you watch the following video, one last thought...Is social media Relevant to you now?