The long awaited Department of Defense Social Media policy was announced with much fanfare Friday and it is an incredibly well thought out common sense approach that has public affairs officers world wide rejoicing. It has been a long time coming for the evangelists of new media in the ranks who have been battling for access or trying to find allies to help them push into social media but this policy was worth
I have been one of those evangelists myself for the last three years after the terrific team at the Army Web Team sold me hook, line and sinker on their efforts to tell the Army story on YouTube, Flickr and iReports. Eventually, their efforts grew to include Facebook, Twitter, Delicious and a host of other platforms but on any given day we would come to work and find our access cut off causing our IT department to spend the day furiously fighting to get us turned back on.
When Price Floyd, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, rolled out DTM 09-026 today, appropriately via his Twitter feed, it solved the agony of hundreds of communications professionals in all of the services around the world.
Its simplicity belies the power of the directive. It states that the "NIPRNET (the unclassified network) shall be configured to provide access to Internet-based capabilities across all DoD Components."
With that single sentence the Marines are no longer blocked from social media sites which single-handedly killed all of their social media based outreach efforts last September. Army PAO's will no longer have to find the latest version of the DISA memo to submit with their specific IP addresses and configurations for each and every social media page they wanted to use for official purposes. Memo's that were routinely lost or arbitrarily denied.
Congratulations to my former colleagues as they are now free to pursue all of the different channels available to tell their story to the American people, build stronger military communities, recruit future service members and connect with world.
(This post was originally published on my Posterous blog at http://fpwellman.posterous.com/dod-publishes-a-common-sense-approach-to-soci )