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Jack Holt, DoD New Media Live-blogging from the Gov20 symposium

Jack Holt, Department of Defense, Sr. Strategist for New Media

Use of social media as leadership.
President’s call for open, transparent, collaborative government.

The core of my job is to get people to think differently. Think differently about what we’re doing, how we’re doing, etc.

First high speed network? Hard surface Roman roads. Public roads built for military movement and communication.
Expanded reach, collapsed time.

Information at rest will remain at rest until acted on by an outside force. The best libraries in the world are useless if we can’t get in the door.
Communication is information in action.

Kinds of communication: Linear, interactional, transactional.

Communication is leadership
Leadership is communication
If you listen to whispers you will not hear screams (Cherokee proverb)

2006 QDR Strategic Communication Roadmap
Develop the ability to communicate in a 24-7 new media environment.
Commander’s intent: from the pointy end of the spear to the comfy end of the couch.

What is strategic information? Who needs to know what, when, why, where are they, how do I reach them?

How do you get published when your story doesn’t rise to the level of “news”?
You have important things to share that don’t get rated as real news. Still important knowledge, though — how to get it out?
New media and the public square. Who is telling your story? Why aren’t you telling your own story?

Is your audience spectator or participant?
How are you communicating?
Internal vs. external. Horizontal vs vertical (broad vs drill-down)

Some examples of what we’re doing:
The DoD Bloggers Roundtable
There was a growing group of military bloggers reporting and commenting on the news. But they didn’t have all the resources they needed.
So we began engaging them and setting up interviews, giving them news sources that weren’t be reported in the traditional news media.
We’ve added downloadable transcripts, podcasts, etc. Traditional journalists started paying attention to and using the mil-blogger sources!
An important story about Iraq wound up on the front page of the Washington Post — and it started with the mil-bloggers and Bloggers Roundtable.

DODvClips.mil — online video
Audio webcasting — DotMilDocs on radioblogtalk — created for the Military Health System in 2008. 23,000 downloads from the web site and iTunes.
Armed with Science — in 8 weeks, almost 33,000 downloads.

Guidance — the same intent that governs government activities expands online.
Decision-making processes have changed with rapid world-wide data — volume, mass, speed.
Democracy of access
Collapsed time
Expanded reach
Gov, public and users are empowered

Question: What is the future for DoD communications?
Answer: Access, transparency, participation. Every soldier is a spokesman.

Question: How do you protect when “every soldier is a spokesperson”?
Answer: We train people to respond to threats in all phases of life, including online. Publishing is still publishing.

Question: How do you identify participants for the DoD Bloggers Roundtable?
Answer: I looked online to see who was writing thoughtfully about defense, Iraq, war, military, etc. They didn’t have to agree with me at all, just had to be thoughtful, researched, with serious engagement. I didn’t invite people who were just flaming / ranting one side or another.

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