US Government and Military Expand From Usenet Newsgroups To Social Networks

Government Expands Usenet To Include Social NetworksThe Obama administration now has feeds on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. The social networking sites are just the latest in the administration’s efforts to make information widely available, as they join YouTube, Flickr, iTunes and Vimeo in addition to their existing presence on Usenet newsgroups.

Each branch of the U.S. military continues to try and see how it can embrace Web 2.0.
The Pentagon is now using Web 2.0 services such as Facebook and Twitter to help relay the military’s message while also tracking down possible recruits online.

At a time when some Americans don’t believe mass media in the United States is portraying the correct message about the mission in Iraq, officials such as Gen Raymond Odierno, top U.S. commander in Iraq, have a Facebook page used to highlight things soldiers are doing in the Middle East. This is in compliment to many government newsgroups they also post to.

The social-networking sites are the latest in the administration’s and military’s efforts to make information widely available, as they join YouTube, Flickr, iTunes and Vimeo in appendum to the widely vast availability of specific government administration and US military newsgroups such as: sci.military.naval,, alt.military, and rec.aviation.military to name a few and not including internal mil. newsgroups

“Technology has profoundly impacted how — and where — we all consume information and communicate with one another,” wrote an administration official on “ is an important part of the administration’s effort to use the Internet to reach the public quickly and effectively — but it isn’t the only place.”

The Marine Corps has dabbled with Web 2.0 experimentation, although it mainly has been for recruiting only, using the practice for years on newsgroups. Both the Navy and Coast Guard are experimenting how to work in the Web 2.0 world, with even the Coast Guard commandant updating his Facebook status while he travels.

Some companies and organizations have been wary to launch official Web 2.0 services, though allowing select executives and employees to handle work-related business online. It’s not uncommon to find both employees and executives from companies such as Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, and others sharing information online.

All of these companies and government sections however, have not only embraced, but have been part of the Usenet community for quite some time.

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