PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. - Picatinnyans who want the latest command updates can now have them delivered to their Facebook accounts.

Launched in the summer of 2009, the Picatinny Facebook page was developed with the initiative of giving Picatinny community members, and others, easier access to information about the events and ongoings of the installation.

As of April 2010, there are approximately 930 fans to the installation's page.

Social media can be a very effective tool if used properly. Picatinny has adapted several Facebook fan pages to include an installation fan page, an Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center fan page, Joint Munitions and Lethality Life Cycle Management Command page and a Bucky's restaurant fan page.

While Picatinny has only recently delved into the realm of social media, some commands have taken their push to web 2.0 a step farther.

With RDECOM iPhone applications and the launch of the Army Technology Live blog, users can stay on top of not only what the Army is doing but also what different RDECs are doing.

Launched in fall 2009, RDECOM's Army Technology Live is gaining new features and readership.

The blog joins an effort already underway in the command. RDECOM already has a presence on several social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The blog's web address is http://armytechnology.armylive.dodlive.mil.

"We've added a free companion iPhone app to make the blog totally mobile," said Robert DiMichele, Research, Development and Engineering Command spokesperson. "We are also making the blog a starting point for our employment information."

The iPhone application is a mash-up of syndicated news feeds from various sources. Officials said future versions will include more news sources. The app downloads current news features after it launches.

Army Technology Live now publishes a sampling of job opportunities available across the Army's research and development community for engineers, scientists and mathematicians. There is also a link to USAJobs.gov for a complete listing of job postings across RDECOM.

"We really hope to advance the conversation about Army technologies and inform the public about Army initiatives," DiMichele said. "The blog gives us the opportunity to showcase the work the Army technology team does to make our warfighters strong and America safe."

As technology continues to advance, more people are gathering their news information from social media sites and applications used with mobile devices so it only makes sense for the Army to move in that direction.

The key is to publish new information in a timely manner. While that is easier said than done, the Picatinny Public Affairs Office is working with tenant units here to get the job done.

While social media is relatively new to the military community, that is because most outside businesses or agencies do not have to take the same precautionary measures that the Department of Defense needs to take before making new information publicly releasable.

While the Army now embraces the use of social media users must remain vigilant in protecting vital information that should not be made available to those who do not need the information.

Users should be reminded that the recent change in policy allowing the use of social media only affects the military's non-classified Internet network, known as NIPRNET. Commanders at all levels are granted permission to temporarily ban specific social tools if need be. The use of social media is a privilege and not a right.

You too can become a fan of Picatinny on Facebook by going to www.facebook.com/PicatinnyArsenal. Do not stop there however. Please suggest the page to your friends and family and engage in some of our online discussions.

While Picatinny is on some of the other major social media sites, Facebook is the most active right now and we will keep you informed of any upcoming changes.
(David McNally, RDECOM public affairs, contributed to this article)

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