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Summary:

The U.S. Military launched in October a social networking site called milBook, a sort of Facebook clone for organizational information. With 18,000 members now, the site is more oriented towards collaboration than socialization, and, of course, has extensive security levels.

The U.S. Military launched in October a social networking site called milBook, a sort of Facebook clone for organizational information. Now up to 18,000 members-strong, the site is more oriented towards collaboration than socialization, and of course has extensive security levels. It’s currently on a membership drive, and sent us some hokey but cute recruiting videos (see below). Though many of our readers are probably not eligible to join, the concept was intriguing, so we followed up to learn more.

The idea behind milBook (which along with wiki and blog tools is grouped into something called “milSuite”) is for the Department of Defense to get a dose of Web 2.0 flavor, said officials for the Army’s MilTech Solutions group. “milSuite’s aim is to provide those serving our Military the same experience they take for granted in the public domain, behind the security of a firewall,” explained Justin Filler, deputy MilTech Solutions, in an email interview.

Filler clearly wants milBook to be as open as possible, allowing military employees to share “official and sometimes sensitive information” in a way they hadn’t been able to do so before due to geography and rank. He said milBook members come from every level of military service, from privates to three-star generals.

“We understand there is information that needs to be more secure, so we advise and offer the ability to label appropriately,” he said. “At this point we are seeing a nice variety of both open and closed groups so that is a nice surprise in a traditionally closed environment.”

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  1. And I think of a certain boss who was forever sending interoffice e-mail to ALL instead of just to his ‘friend.’

  2. Great. When one of our military personnel fails to have a good password that is easily cracked, there goes our national security.

  3. Warfighting Revolution or Disaster in 140 Characters or Less – Part 2: What do social media have to offer to the US Military? | Secure Nation Tuesday, July 13, 2010

    [...] In the summer of 2009 the Army conducted a 90-day online test that would allow any soldier, from private to general, to modify and expand any of seven training manuals in a “wiki”-style environment.[17] Later the program was expanded to 17 manuals, and in the future Army officials expect to ramp up the program to 230 manuals, which will be renamed “Army Tactics, Techniques and Procedures” manuals and disseminated to soldiers. Results so far have been optimistic, demonstrating the value of collaboration and information sharing in military education and training. According to Price Floyd, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, “Men and women who are in the field fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq are sending back and communicating with people back here in the States to update the counterinsurgency manual—how we fight counterinsurgency wars—in real time. We don’t have to wait several years or until the conflict is over to do that, and we’re able to do that because of this technology.”[18] In this way, social media technologies have begun demonstrating their success opening up the US Military to constructive revision; this culture of collaboration, adaptability, and transparency that is exemplified by wiki-style information sharing will likely continue to effect positive changes in the Military.[19] [...]

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