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Milblogging, Revamping, and a New Approach

The explosion yesterday of what the Army is trying to do to communications and information has forced public discussion on what a number of bloggers and others have been talking about in private for a while. In point of fact, there are several people who have been working on a modest proposal for trying to make some substantive changes to the information front.

The white paper being drafted is still quite rough, but some quick thoughts to share this day are the following:

1. Military PAO acitivites are based on an (early) industrial-age model, with some slight modifications that come from experience in WWII.

2. Many in leadership and rear-echelon positions are not comfortable with Web 0.5, much less Web 2.0 -- a condition that applies to industry as well as government.

3. The combination of these two factors, along with several others, means that current information acitivites are neither effective, efficient, or acceptable.

4. Blogs and Milblogs have shown some of what can be accomplished using more modern technology and models, as well as an innovative mindset.

5. Blogs and Milblogs, for all they have accomplished, are not the answer; but, rather an early prototype of one part of larger information effort and new model of information operations.

6. This new model will change information operations on a fundamental level, in much the same way that combat arms has been reshaped over the last two hundred years.

Simply trying to bring PAO and related activities up to date with blogs is not the answer. Simply trying to improve the information technology available to PAO and in-unit activities is not the answer. Technology, and even things like blogging, are but one part of a larger shift in the way information is being processed, accessed, and used. As such, it is not a technology issue but, rather, a fundamental change in the social and psychological framework (dynamics) of society.

To that end, an advisory group, and a set of key subgroups, is proposed. The problem as to timing is that while several potential members have been identified, not all of them have been contacted to determine their interest. That said, I have a list. I plan over the next several days to get some e-mails out and phone calls made. While we can and must fight the catalyst issue, what is truly needed is to reshape the battlefield and render the skirmish moot.

LW

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