Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

How to Comment on a Blog: The Air Force’s Flowchart

I know there are lots of people out there who are employed as “social media” experts or consultants or professionals. (A lot of them, oddly, seem to follow me on Twitter.) But until today, I’ve been unclear about what they actually do.

Now I think I get it: They help people at big, hidebound organizations wrap their heads around the Web. Depending on your perspective, this is either a ridiculous boondoggle of a profession or a worthwhile pursuit, given the right parameters.

Here’s a good ink blot test–what do you think of this chart (click twice to enlarge), designed by Capt. David Faggard, Chief of Emerging Technology at the Air Force Public Affairs Agency?

My gut reaction was to assume this was a parody. And the next was to deride it as some sort of post-Yossarian artifact that ought to be a parody.

Then I read it. It’s actually quite reasonable.

I operate in a hothouse world of bloggers who tend to type first and think later. And none of that tends to matter much, because, well it’s just bloggers typing.

But for people with real jobs–and real bosses, some of whom may handle weapons–weighing in on the Web isn’t a natural act. And so a guide like this may not be the worst thing. Perhaps some people I know ought to read it, too.

Thanks to Ellen McGirt, Joey DeVilla and David Meerman Scott.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik