General McKinley describes 3 main ways he uses Twitter:
- to send out “core messages” to the National Guard community
- to publicly recognize soldiers and units (a Web 2.0 version of handing out coins)*
- to create news buzz about the National Guard
While those may not be particularly novel uses of Twitter, General McKinley’s approach to security concerns is refreshing. Some key quotes:
Proper oversight and discretion can mitigate these risks. I trust our service members to be responsible and exercise good judgment…These tools are too important to lock away. Some of the brightest minds in the country are focused on securing our networks and lowering this risk. I am confident they have the skills to both empower users and protect critical systems and data.
I’m happy to say that my library directors have a similar attitude towards social media, but I know that many libraries have hesitated to take advantage of social media because of fears about security and/or misuse. But if the National Guard understands that the risks can be contained, certainly libraries can take the plunge.
*I still have every single coin given to me by military commanders during my 10 years in the Army. They are a big deal, but often given in relatively private settings. I like having the physical artifact, but getting public recognition that can be ReTweeted (especially to mom and dad) must be pretty darn cool too.