Thursday, December 04, 2008

US Army gets a SecondLife

The US Army is about to set up several islands in the virtual world Second Life to explore the effectiveness of the medium as a recruiting tool.

Reported in The Inquisitr, the article, titled U.S. Army to setup camp on Second Life, the army is looking to provide virtual experiences, such as parachuting and using a weapon to entice new recruits to sign on.

Given that the US army is already using unmanned remote controlled robots, and the airforce is using remote controlled planes, some soldiers are already working in a video game-like experience, making this not too far a leap from virtual to real soldiering.

From the article, the US army is exploring these types of avenues in order to go where their audience is and start conversations, they cannot simply set up shopfronts or phone lines and wait for eager recruits to walk in the door anymore.

To quote,
What I find really facinating about these types of things involving the Army is that they seem to get what all this social mdia and technology is about better than most of the people trying to market it to businesses. They understand that social media isn’t about just setting up shop somewhere and controlling what happens. The Army understands that it is about going to where the people they want to talk with are and then creating a valid reason for a conversation to begin.

For the Army it isn’t a matter of finding a way to make money off of social media interaction. They are looking at purely from an outreach and conversation point of view. This doesn’t mean that they are seeing it as some pie in the sky either but instead are being quite realistic about its potential.
Can anyone think of other (public or private) organisations seeking to attract the best talent who might need to move beyond traditional recruitment methods?

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