wasting bandwidth since 1999

Defending Against Bloggers

Evidently the US Air Force sees blogs as a threat of some kind.

Bloggers: If you suddenly find Air Force officers leaving barbed comments after one of your posts, don’t be surprised. They’re just following the service’s new “counter-blogging” flow chart. In a twelve-point plan, put together by the emerging technology division of the Air Force’s public affairs arm, airmen are given guidance on how to handle “trolls,” “ragers” — and even well-informed online writers, too.

They also have a Twitter feed for anyone who wants to know what the Air Force is doing right now.

I love the fact that one branch on their “counter-blogging” flow chart notes how to deal with posts by “unhappy customers”.

Are their “customers” those of us who pay for the bombs, or the folks on whom they drop them. :-)


  1. Dave

    I work in communication/PR, and you are definitely overreacting. Where does it say that USAF thinks of bloggers as a threat? I think it’s very irresponsible and sensational of Wired to suggest that USAF PR folks are going to leave “barbed comments”. If they had actually read the chart, they’d see that “Tone” is specifically addressed as an important consideration in any response.

    The flowchart is actually a very level-headed set of guidelines, probably intended for USAF PR folks who don’t have a lot of experience with blogs and bloggers. In the PR world, “customer” is a synonym for “stakeholder”, so that’s actually the correct term to use, and anyone in the intended audience would know what that means.

    Moreover, this isn’t part of some strategic campaign to gain control of the blogosphere. Look at the very first decision step: “Has someone discovered a blog post about the organization?” This flowchart is probably intended so that USAF PR folks are prepared to defuse situations when a higher-ranking officer who doesn’t understand the web freaks out after seeing a negative blog post.

    I’m 100% a believer that every principal and school PR professional in the nation would do well to follow these guidelines exactly as written.

  2. Tim

    Dave: I always appreciate your comments but you really need to start your own blog. :-)

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