I found the post ‘Pack like it's Arizona’ thanks to a notice by Africommons blog. It’s an account of his recent trip to Botswana by Major Steven Lamb, the acting Social Media Chief for U.S. Africa Command and it's really interesting:
• First para spent on why he doesn’t do Facebook, Twitter etc. That’s all very well, but social media are not just about one’s own private life (which he’s of course perfectly entitled to keep private, if he so wishes), but also about professional communications with an organisation’s target audience. Since he’s the acting Social Media Chief, I think it’s time to hand that position over to someone who has some sort of grasp what social media are.
• His first trip to Africa? Interesting hiring practice at Africom. Regional experience not a must?
• Six weeks are not much time to plan. Possibly not for the amount of work that Africom expected from him, I wouldn’t know. But not enough time to get a visa for Namibia? Huh??
• And back to the social media thing, digital media aren’t his forte either, I guess: He concludes his blog post with: ‘On the personal side, I learned the value of doing a bit more research on my target location and also the benefits of being prepared for whatever changes might occur.’ Google could have probably told him about weather, internet access and such basics in 10min.
Lovely, lovely. I feel much better about Africom now. With an approach like that, you don’t really have to go as far as worrying about any underlying evil of Africom. Generalised cluelessness will be your primary concern.