Social media dominates new DOD Web site

Pentagon officials want new site to improve communication with young audience

Social media — including a “We Want to Hear From You” forum — is the prominent feature on the new home page the Defense Department launched today.

A navigation bar along the left side of the new site is populated with links to Web 2.0 tools including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, podcasts, widgets and more.

The forum frame is at the top right of the new site, and it contains two questions: "What defense policy issues are most important to you?" and "What question would you like the secretary to answer?"

Participants will be able to vote on the policy issue question, DOD officials said.

A DOD article about the new site said social networking is needed to better communicate with people between 18 and 24 years old.

"We need to embrace these technologies,” Price Floyd, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, said in the article. “We need to use them because that's what the young people use these days."

DOD officials said they used the White House’s interactive Web site as a model.

While the new site stresses social media, DOD officials are conducting a study about the technology to examine the security risks and potential opportunities.

Earlier this month, the Marine Corps banned the use of social networking services on all official computers due to the perceived security risk.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

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