Social networking and new media tools are increasingly popular. Combined, they are known as Web2.0, indicating a rebirth of sorts for the Internet. They are powerful aids for communicating with large groups of people, but applying them to the military challenges the typical hierarchy and vertical lines of communication.
Facebook, unquestionably the lead social networking site, has 350 million users. This free service allows individuals and organizations to share information with large networks. The most common tool is micro blogging, or brief shared announcements. Twitter, another popular service, is used strictly for micro blogging and has attracted many celebrities and elected officials seeking to maintain contact with constituents. Other Facebook applications allow posting of videos, pictures, documents, and Web links. As information crosses personal networks, it can reach thousands in near real-time.