From The Halls Of MySpace To The Shores Of Facebook

from the ten-hut dept

The US Army raised some eyebrows a few years ago when it released its own video game in an attempt to turn gamers into new recruits. While the effectiveness of the move is debateable, it does show that the military has some understanding it's got to reach out to young people in new ways, in places and activities where they spend their time. It's hardly surprising, then, to see the Marines on MySpace, where its profile has attracted more than 12,000 friends. Plenty of advertisers have taken similar steps, getting users to buddy up to their brands in social-networking sites, so it's not as if this is uncharted territory. But just as questions remain about the effectiveness of advertising on social-networking sites, it's not clear just how well the MySpace recruiting is going for the Marines: despite attracting all those friends, just 430 people have contacted a recruiter through the site in 5 months, with just 170 of them considered prospective recruits.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Grant Woodward, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 8:59am

    No Harm Done

    While I can't imagine this will be terribly effective, the US military would be remiss if it didn't try to take advantage of MySpace to recruit given its current manpower shortage. Given how little this would cost the US government per recruit, I can't find much wrong with this move at all.

     

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  2.  
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    G, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 9:03am

    No Harm done

    I agree with you Grant.. nothing wrong with using myspace to Network.. I do it for my buisness..

    http://www.myspace.com/smut101

    ;)

     

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  3.  
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    dorpus, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 9:03am

    1-2-3-4-I-Love-Marine-Corps

    The Marines should get rid of their terrible TV ads with the swords and lightning. If they want to reach out to an 18-year-old demographic, they should emphasize huge muscles and rappelling from helicopters.

     

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  4.  
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    G, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 9:05am

    haha

    Thats true.. those commercials are pretty weak, and dont intrest much people at all.. they should show some more action on what goes on in there..

     

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  5.  
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    mp, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 9:05am

    those sound like pretty good response rates to me

    Not sure if you're familiar with direct mail at all (another marketing technique of the military) but I bet they spent less on myspace to get 170 possible recruits than they would on a direct mail campaign to get that many people.

     

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  6.  
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    G, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 9:07am

    finally

    yea.. no kiddin.. 170 Possible recruits from myspace is good. I bet they dont get half that from mailing out advertising packets

     

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  7.  
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    Larry, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 9:14am

    im bored

    im bored..

     

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  8.  
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    shane, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 9:16am

    i'm glad they recruited anybody, that service is free, free with the military is rare.

     

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  9.  
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    Lay Person, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 9:19am

    The Military Sucks

    Look, the military sucks!

    The leaders are incompetent, they don't pay well, the work is hazardous and you need to commit your life to them to get anywhere!

    How do you sucker all our youth into such a losing proposition?

    Lie.

     

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  10.  
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    dorpus, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 9:23am

    Re: The Military Sucks

    Yeah, but what if you're from a poor background, with no hope of travelling abroad, and you're looking at a life of pumping gas at the local Sunoco? Getting paid to dodge bullets in exotic lands sounds pretty good. 18-year-olds are a rather suicidal bunch, literally.

    I sat in on a psychology 101 course recently, where I was the only guy with grey hair -- almost everyone was 17 or 18. The professor said on the first day of class that if anyone is feeling suicidal, they should give him a call. (He was serious.)

     

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  11.  
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    Danno, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 9:24am

    Less offensive than the Federal block grant arm bending that they use to get recruiters into schools (not that I think that having the recruiters is a horrible thing, mind you, just that I dislike the political tactic)

     

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  12.  
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    Angry Rivethead, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 9:26am

    Re: The Military Sucks

    The Leadership (atleast the ones that are not pentagon staff) are usually very competent. The pay Isn't bad as long as you're not jr. enlisted (e1-e4) which doesn't last long unless you suck. If you can pull down a commission, you're all set. Now...as far as the committing your life thing...what job do you NOT have to commit your life to to get anywhere with? The military is proabbly about the only proffession out there that you can almost completely advance ALL the way through in 20 years (30 max).

     

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  13.  
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    WirelessGuy, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 9:27am

    Don't blame the soldiers for your personal issues

    The military members do not suck. The mission they do sometimes does. But if there wasn't any volunteers into the military then there would be a draft and your lame ass would have ended up with a real job.

    The military is a great place for people to go and learn a skill, defend our country and get a way to go to college. Not all of us come out of the womb with a silver spoon out of our ass, so we have to do what it takes in order to get on equal footing. Some play sports, some are genius IQs and some just want to do something that means something.

    I for one am proud of the fact that I served this country for 8 years, in three wars. Sure, I might have questioned why I was in those places. Sure I saw and experienced things that now I have nightmares about. But because of actions of soldiers like me, you can make stupid comments on the internet saying the military sucks.

    Honoring those who have died in service for this country, either as soldiers, airmen, marines or sailors, plus police and fire fighters should be what you focus on, not the politics. Keep the two seperate.

     

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  14.  
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    ekc, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 9:27am

    Just doing what they are supposed to

    My views on recruiting young kids to join the military aside, I think it's a pretty smart move on their part. Seems like a pretty small investment of time, so getting any recruits out of it is great for them. I'm sure it beats standing outside trying to get kids' attention, and it's easily more cost effective than the commercials (they DO need to update those). They might have a better rate if they proactively contacted people, but that would start to get time consuming.

     

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  15.  
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    jsnbase, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 9:38am

    Once again, there can be more than two sides

    It's possible to not have a 'silver spoon out of our ass' AND not be a fan of the military.

    Regardless, how many recruits does an average brick-n-mortar office get in six months? Seems like our statistics here don't mean much without knowing that.

    And I'm far too lazy to google. :)

     

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  16.  
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    liberal godless leftist elitist, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 9:40am

    Re: Don't blame the soldiers for your personal iss

    he said 'the military sucks' and nothing about the people in it.

    i have a lot of respect for those willing to join the military. i would not be able to morally justify it.

    how could our invasion and occupation of another country secure our rights here at home? those soldiers are not defending our freedom, they arent defending anything.

    i dont disagree with the mission, but i dont think we should kid ourselves to justify it.

     

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  17.  
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    Lay Person, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 9:49am

    THE MILITARY SUCKS!

    Yup...

    Looks like they got to ya...

    Kids, the military still sucks!

    All else is a lie!

    If you are down and out, as I was, DO NOT JOIN THE MILITARY! It's a DEAD-END street.

    You will end up taking orders from bigger losers than yourself until you realize you've wasted your time chasing lies.

    If you want to rise from the ashes of society, go to school, learn some really useful skill, get a job, get paid, retire. No assholes, no lies, no time wasted, no obligation.

    It's all you. You don't need the system to be dependent on. That's just what they want you to believe. If they bring up nationalism and patriotism remember that this type of talk is the refuge for scoundrels and tyrants. Nationalism is used by the staus quo to evoke fear and pride the two most sinister emotions known to man.

    Every American has the right to bear arms and protect our country but the system wants you to believ that we are not responsible enough for such a thing. Remember, we became America as independents so why then do we need any system to get things done.

    The problems start with us and end with us. The enemy is within and not without.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 9:50am

    Re: Re: Don't blame the soldiers for your personal

    YOUR A MORON

     

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  19.  
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    liberal godless leftist elitist, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Don't blame the soldiers for your pers

    My a moron? I dont understand...

     

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  20.  
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    jsnbase, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 10:08am

    I may not agree with you Wireless Guy

    but at least you're coherent. Yeesh

    Back on topic-

    It looks like the Marines took in around 20,000 recruits for 2005/06. I haven't yet found numbers for how they're getting them, but 170 or so over 5 months for (essentially) free doesn't sound terrible.

     

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  21.  
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    Raekwon, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 10:15am

    Re: Don't blame the soldiers for your personal iss

    It's not the military that "sucks". It's the government the military stands for. Considering for the past 30-40 years soldiers have been questioning EVERY war we've been involved in. Enlightened people, whom you may think, "Have a silver spoon up thier ass", whatever that means, realize that the government has secret motives behind almost every move that they make. So why don't you try removing what ever is lodged up your ass. Honor those who've fallen, I agree. I have alot of respect for anyone who's risked thier lives. Just ask yourself, what cause am I serving? American Imperialism? Why do you think every country we enter considers us the enemy. Why do other modern, western countries dislike us? We are fueled by money, this is our only motive. If you could get past your government brainwashing, perhaps you'd take notice.

     

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  22.  
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    Lay Person, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Don't blame the soldiers for your pers

    Anonymous Coward:

    YOU'RE A MORON.

     

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  23.  
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    Lay Person, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 10:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Don't blame the soldiers for your pers

    Uuuhhhh...

    That's the correct way to write it...MORON!

     

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  24.  
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    pablo, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 10:36am

    myspace

    are there any emo marine girls?

     

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  25.  
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    Lay Person, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 10:45am

    It's funny...

    This blog is clearly divided on this subject.

    What I see here are free thinkers (in the light)

    and drones of the system brainwashed to the Nth degree (in the dark).

    Friends, neighbors, fellow Americans, I have several flashlights, all you have to do is ask...question...analyze.

    Not because it's an unamerican thing to do but do it because it's THE AMERICAN THING TO DO. Once we accept our Democracy, as it is, is when we give up being American. Our Democracy is an ongoing fight, once we're complacent it's no-longer a Democracy. We accept what we're told because it's too dificult to fight about it. We lose and we become sheep led by wolves.

     

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  26.  
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    pablo, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 10:52am

    some quotes

    "Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country."

    Theodore Roosvelt


    "We live in a land of abounding quackeries, and if we do not learn how to laugh we succumb to the melancholy disease which afflicts the race of viewers-with-alarm... In no other country known to me is life as safe and agreeable, taking one day with another, as it is in These States. Even in a great Depression few if any starve, and even in a great war the number who suffer by it is vastly surpassed by the number who fatten on it and enjoy it. Thus my view of my country is predominantly tolerant and amiable. I do not believe in democracy, but I am perfectly willing to admit that it provides the only really amusing form of government ever endured by mankind."

    Henry Louis Mencken

     

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  27.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Jul 24th, 2006 @ 11:16am

    seriously, it really does suck

    i served for 5 years in the army and i can say that it really does suck:

    the food is terrible

    the people are not well educated and not very friendly

    you also have to sleep in the mud

    they have to do everything at like 5 in the morning

    they never send you some place fun. it's always some place that is hot as hell or snowing, often with people who hate you and have guns.

    i learned a lot of important things in the army, like how to use a computer, how to drive anything with wheels, and how to start an IV, but my "leaders" made sure that i wasted a lot of time cleaning ugly green things so they looked pretty for a general or someone like that.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 11:17am

    Re: It's funny...

    You might want to pull those flashlights out of your ass. We do NOT live in a Democracy. We have a Representive Republic. There is a huge difference. Democracy is mob rule, that means the segregationists would have been right in the south in the 60s and women would still not have the right to vote...

     

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  29.  
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    Sanguine Dream, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 11:33am

    I think its a good idea

    Recruiting on social sites like that give the potential recruits more control over the level of advertising they see. If you are intersted then buddy up with a recuriter and if not then just avoid them. Its a lot more polite than constant calls and a mailbox full of pamphlets, flyers, and swag.

    And why is it that everytime some says military the conversation always goes to "honoring those that died"? I have much respect for a person that can do something I cannot (being in a position where you may have to kill another person) but this is about recruiting tactics.

     

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  30.  
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    jsnbase, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 11:42am

    Lay Person, I would be inclined to agree with you

    on some fundamental level, but the incredible arrogance and hypocrisy of declaring only those who agree with you to be free-thinkers....well, it's kind of funny, but it's the bitter kind .

     

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  31.  
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    Lay Person, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 12:48pm

    Re: Re: It's funny...

    O.K. smart guy...

    Websters(this is a dictionary for all the smart guys):

    Democracy: Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives.

    See the part where our governement is exercised through elected representatives? I believe that covers your definition...Smart Guy!

    Anyway, enough of schooling you...care for as flashlight?

     

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  32.  
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    Lay Person, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Lay Person, I would be inclined to agree with

    hypocrisy...arrogance?

    Where do you perceive such?

    I apologize, I don't mean to come off as being either. I am simply saying that there are those of us who think and those who take things at face value (believe what they're told...unexamined).

    I know that Bush is in office and that I had no one to vote for over these past few elections. I know we are in a war under false pretenses. I know that money is corrupting our political system. I know that NewOrleans looked like a third-world country for several months.

    If I'm a hypocrite for being concerned over the state of my own country, fine.

    If I'm arrogant for knowing that I'm being flat-faced lied to on national television, fine.

    I bring this to the attention of my fellow countrymen and you condemn me, fine.

    All is well. BUT this arrogant, hypocritical asshole is yelling at the top of his lungs:

    THINK PEOPLE! THINK PEOPLE! THINK PEOPLE! THINK PEOPLE! THINK PEOPLE! THINK PEOPLE! THINK PEOPLE! THINK PEOPLE! THINK PEOPLE! THINK PEOPLE! THINK PEOPLE! THINK PEOPLE! THINK PEOPLE! THINK PEOPLE!


    Yeah you can hang me for causing a ruckus but my words will ring true forever!

     

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  33.  
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    Raekwon, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 1:31pm

    Re: Re: Lay Person, I would be inclined to agree w

    Sing it Brother!

     

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  34.  
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    Raekwon, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 1:35pm

    Re: I think its a good idea

    You're correct in that we rarely stay on topic, but that's because the real issues are what are important. The knowledge that a few of the frequent posters on here try to convey is something I would call necessary for each and every American to be informed.

     

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  35.  
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    tom t, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 2:16pm

    Re: Don't blame the soldiers for your personal iss

    Dang, I agree with you! And you did an excellent job of skirting the edge of obnoxiousness. Certainly your last paragraph helped drag you back from the brink of the sentence "But because of actions of soldiers like me, you can...." That whole jingoistic "freedom isnt free" crap and trampling the constitution while justifying the end with tortuous means really casts a poor light on our great nation. After all, Thomas Jefferson, etc., had it pegged with the absolute power, security over freedom, etc.

     

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  36.  
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    jsnbase, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 3:06pm

    It's so much simpler

    You're arrogant for assuming that if someone disagrees with you they've been brainwashed.

    You're hypocritical for assuming that those who do agree with you haven't been.

    There are some people who, regardless of their stance, speak with the cadence of the drums they hear inside their heads. I won't stand with them.

     

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  37.  
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    Lay Person, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 3:23pm

    Re: It's so much simpler

    Well... I'm still not sure where the arrogance and hypocricy come in.

    What I stated addressed very specific arguments to specific individuals (they knew who they were).

    You may disagree with my methods but I, as well as others, in this immediate blog, understood the means to that end.

    It's difficult to follow these threads at times and it's possible you got lost. If not, and I really am as arrogant and hypocritical as you say, I apologize.

     

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  38.  
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    jsnbase, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 11:35pm

    You may be right at that

    and even if I didn't get lost, that's a more than reasonable response. If I wore a hat, I'd tip it.

     

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  39.  
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    OneMoreBite, Jul 25th, 2006 @ 6:44am

    Good ROI Using MySpace for Marketing

    How is that not an awesome response for the Marines? Four hundred thirty contacts and 170 possible recruits for what effort? Putting up a MySpace page? The Marines should sell a book on how to market on Myspace. ;-)

     

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  40.  
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    Sanguine Dream, Jul 25th, 2006 @ 9:20am

    Re: Re: I think its a good idea

    I agree that real issues need to be addressed but to just overrun one issue to talk about another...

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    dourpus, Jan 8th, 2007 @ 8:28am

    Re: Re: Re: It's funny...

    Wow Lay person.

    From the CIA factbook

    https://cia.gov/cia//publications/factbook/geos/us.html


    Government type: Constitution-based federal republic;

    Not a 'democracy'. You are welcome for the battiers I've handed you for your flashlight.

     

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