British Armed Forces embrace social web

Action Man by Unstoppable Steve
Action Man by Unstoppable Steve

So it appears (via Mashable) that the Ministry of Defence  has released some guidance that rather than ban the use of social media (which is what the US Marines apparently did recently) actually actively encourage troops to do so within reason.  The guidance is somewhat remarkable in the fact that it demonstrates a high level of common sense and trust in the people it is guiding.

I completely agree with allowing individuals to express themselves using the social web and while at times the fact that it appears that everyone now needs some kind of Policy before they update their Facebook status or send a tweet does make me a little uncomfortable.  I am starting to understand the reasons why though and the fact that the line between work and personal personas blurs so often will almost inevitably lead to managers worrying which in turn leads to the rise of the Policy.  I can happily live with the Policy done right, something that sets out some basic principles and trusts its people to show some judgement is alright with me something that tries to control the message or ban participation though is just doomed to fail and will just send the activity underground.

It does amuse (well horrify) me though that the MOD, an organisation that does not exactly have a reputation for openness or innovation, would have a more enlightened attitude to the social web than a certain government funded agency with a technology remit I could mention.

This is just more evidence that the social web is the mainstream now and that if you don’t engage with it you are simply being left behind.