The Rock Island Arsenal can now be found on many of your favorite social media web sites including Facebook, Flickr and Twitter.

"It's very important for the Army and all of AMC to stay in tune with the oft-changing world of communications and technologies," said Army Materiel Command Chief Public Affairs Officer, Col. Henry Huntley. "Social Media, whether it's 'Twitter', 'Facebook', 'YouTube' or 'Flickr', are merely additional tools in our kit bag that can enhance our ability to engage with others, market ourselves, Network and explain [better] who we are in our Army family or as a command."

The AMC Public Affairs team began work on the various sites in late 2008 with RIA coming on board in July. As the surge of social media sites grew, the Army had to rethink the way we communicated.

"Embracing Social Media has forced us to change our way of doing business," said Huntley. "If we want to remain credible and stay viable to those who communicate with us, then becomes a medium that we MUST be willing to explore and master."

Every social site is a little different. Facebook is a social networking website that is operated and privately owned by Facebook Inc. Users can join networks organized by city, workplace, school and region. People can also add friends, send them messages, and update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves.

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as "tweets". Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displaced on the author's profile page and delivered to the author's subscribers who are known as follows.

Flickr is an image and video hosting website, web services suite, and online community platform. In addition to being a popular website for users to share personal photographs, the service is widely used by bloggers as a photo repository. Flickr provides both private and public image storage. A user uploading an image can set privacy controls that determine who can view the image. A photo can be flagged as either public or private. Private images are visible by default only to the uploader, but they can also be marked as viewable by friends and/or family.

As the Army constantly strives to stay one step ahead of the enemy on the battlefield, the same must be done on the information battlefield.

"Right now, our friends, as well as those potentially seeking to harm us, are using and mastering these technologies to reach out to their audiences in a fraction of the time it has taken them in years past," Huntley explained. "Our understanding and preparedness must increase during a time when the world is shrinking with the speed of information."

RIA can be found on Facebook at -; on Twitter at -; and on Flickr at - (You do not have to have an account or sign up to view these sites)

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16