By J.D. LeipoldMarch 22, 2007
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, March 22, 2007) - The Army has started sharing videos and photos of Soldiers in action around the world at popular content-sharing Web sites.
YouTube, Flickr and Del.icio.us are now showing footage of Soldiers fighting the war on terror, helping to guard the southwestern border, assisting others during natural disasters, partnering with homeland-security first responders and providing humanitarian assistance.
The videos, many of which are produced by Army broadcasters, are on YouTube. Photos taken by Defense Department photographers are available on Flickr. And Del.icio.us, a social-bookmark site that offers links-sharing, contains links to Army sites on subjects ranging from Army sports and the Army campaign plan to installation homepages.
"Linking to these sites was another way to get our media out to people," said Robert Schell, content director for Army.mil. "It's another service to market what the Army does, to touch an audience the Army may not currently capture normally. What this does is give secondary places to go and find video, photographs and links about the Army outside of Army.mil."
The content is added to the sites by the Army.mil team, which publishes the Army's homepage. While Schell said Army.mil gets more than five million visitors per month, he estimates more than one million visitors per day to YouTube alone.
"In some cases the only way to view those unclassified videos and photographs is through the Joint Combat Camera Center Web site or through a specific Army site. Not everyone has access to those sites or knows about them."
All three sites are considered "social" Web sites, which means visitors can interact, make comments on content, link to that content, and they can embed the Web address in their own sites.
Chris Clarke, technical director for Army.mil puts the new venture into another perspective: "Army.mil isn't an island, you shouldn't have to go to it to get all content related to the Army. What we have to do is go where the audience is."