CNAS Empire Expands, Absorbs Abu Muqawama

imageIn another sign of the irrelevance of blogs and the overall fad that is the Internet, Abu Muqawama, the must-read blog on counterinsurgency, finally relocated from its no-rent digs at Blogger to the same home as its principal blogger and part of the Center for New American Security empire.

The change is not merely one of address. The move signifies a major shift as a think tank will now provide serious (if at times snarky) analysis free of charge and beyond white papers. A major player in shaping the discussion, AM will now provide branded content that will be no doubt be extended by including more CNAS resources and personalities.

I’ve talked to more than one think tank about entering the blogosphere with more than a press feed or left over analysis that didn’t make it into a report, but each time they simply said they’d think about it. You can adopt, use, and leverage new channels of communication or you can ignore them. It’s your choice if you want to accessible, influential, and relevant. It’s good to see CNAS gets it.

And, by the way, if you were subscribed to the old blog, you’ll have to update your newsfeed, not just your bookmark.

Event: beyond broadcast 09

Happening right now, beyond broadcast 09 explores the power of new media. Topics range “from the transition toward mobile content to evolving journalism business models.”

Check out the agenda and participate online. Today’s panels include: 

Building an Audience Through Engagement & Outreach. This session will explore the tools and techniques for identifying and expanding a target audience through active engagement and outreach.

Measuring New Media’s Impact. The digital media world is still developing the techniques and metrics for measuring its audience. The panelists will share their experience as they strive to create an accepted approach to measure the impact of new media.

Global Media’s Role in a Digital Era. A vital democracy depends not just on good national news but access to unbiased reporting on events around the world. This panel will discuss the challenges and opportunities of bringing stories from multiple sources to a global audience, in the context of new media and distribution channels.

Public Media at the National & Global Levels. Representatives from several world regions will explore traditional media organizations’ use of new media to further their public service mission, expand their coverage and build an audience. How do major media organizations leverage traditional and digital media assets to collect, curate and distribute information?

Public Service Media in Areas of Conflict. A panel of individuals engaged in making change in areas of conflict will explore the risks and opportunities for those involved in public service media in areas of conflict, with firsthand stories and discussion of impacts.

No blogging while traveling but a few links before I go

Despite wanting to, I haven’t been able to blog today as I’m crashing on two reports. Plus, I’m on the red-eye to DC tonight, back to back meetings on the Hill, at the State Department for afternoon meetings, and then a 10p flight home. Fun. Still working on dinner plans before the flight home…

Below are some links that are more interesting than my schedule that you should find interesting. Each deserve their own post, which they may get on my return to temperate Los Angeles. For your reading pleasure:

Using Video to Tell a Story

Briefly, two examples of encouraging and empowering individuals to tell the story of a mission in their own way, one from Afghanistan and the other from US Southern Command.

First up is Afghanistan with Why Afghanistan Matters. Run by NATO Joint Forces Command HQ at Brunssum, Netherlands, it asks NATO military members who are or were deployed to Afghanistan to answer the question why what NATO is doing in Afghanistan is important. The video must be under 3 minutes and candidates will be uploaded to the contest YouTube channel.

Second is SOUTHCOM. Adopting an idea from the private sector (possibly UPS or FedEx), the goal is to “Tell the SOUTHCOM Story through Video”. The Command is distributed Flip Video recorders with basic rules: under 3 minutes, no nudity and no profanity (and a few others). The top 3 will be posted on the Commander’s blog.

A shared attribute of both: neither was initiated by Public Affairs.

More on these later.


Are you monitoring the Now Media environment?

Ah, the days when your public affairs or public relations department could sit back and watch the wire for potentially adverse headlines that you could formulate a response after several meetings over the next day. The world isn’t so simple or, more to the point, so slow.

Simply put, you can’t ignore new media just like you can’t ignore old media as both intermingle in each other’s world amplifying “news” (quotes intentional), creating reach as information shoots around the world through radio (even on the back of motorcycle), television, in print, SMS, let alone Twitter. That same information is persistent, hanging around and available on YouTube and through Google.

Continue reading “Are you monitoring the Now Media environment?