Navy Communicators Look to Communities of Interest

December 5, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman
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A social approach may be the key to exploiting a new network environment.

The U.S. Defense Department’s Joint Information Enterprise (JIE) promises to be the core of force networking, and it will be at the heart of coalition interoperability. An approach to networking allies and nontraditional partners in the JIE may loom in social media.

Establishing communities of interest within the JIE was broached by Randy Cieslak, chief information officer, U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM). Cieslak cited the concept during a panel discussion he was moderating on the final day of TechNet Asia-Pacific 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

By building communities of interest in JIE, PACOM could provide information sharing among its diverse partners. This would allow for tailored information to be shared with partners according to their level of access.

A perspective on establishing communities of interest in an international coalition was shared by Jessica Ear, an associate professor at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS). Her organization works with people in more than 150 locations, including organizations.

She described how the APCSS has had to overcome issues similar to those faced by PACOM—limited bandwidth in some countries where even government officials must work using mobile phone technology. The APCSS set up several communities, and then selected four of them on which to focus. These priority communities of interest are activity driven and have the ability to engage the organization’s community, she pointed out.


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