Tuesday, July 25, 2006

You heard it here....

According to AlterNet, the Marines are using MySpace to recruit.

That's right. MySpace.com

The article can be found here: Marines recruiting on MySpace.

You can't say that the Marines don't ignore something that works. MySpace has become, even more than Friendster, the online networking tool of choice, especially among certain demographics-the very demographics that recruiters salivate over. Not only do members become friends of Suzy and Trey, they also add to their friends list record companies, magazines, religious groups, bars, colleges, and social causes. Through blogging, chat and bulletins, like minded friends engage in info sharing and bonding. The perceived safety of this sharing in a place like MySpace, turns this into a marketers' (and recruiters) pot of gold.

The Marines figured out how to recruit using new media and that they have a profile on MySpace, is not something that I find particularly insidious. Again, marketers have already beaten them to the punch with profiles and ads and contests tailored to entice the magical demographic into spending their money (which is often times their parents' money).

My only beef with the recruiters for the Marines-with the armed forces in general-is that they are upfront about what it really means to be a soldier and that you are essentially okay with sacrificing your life whenever it is asked of you. It is not something that you do for 4-6 years and then you get money to go to college. I am not cool with tying service as a soldier with being a "real man" (although that has been around forever).

I am also not cool with what I perceive as the preying upon the poor and the troubled that recruiters engage in. Heck, I welcome them to recruit at Harvard and Stanford and Yale and Berkeley. Why should the poor kids have all the advantages of becoming the pride of their nation and making the noble sacrifice?

I also echo the sentiment that went around in 2003 that those in Congress who support the current war in Iraq, should march their children who are of age down to the armed forces recruitment offices and have them sign up. In case someone comes up with the excuse that they only have daughters, it will please them to know that except for certain combat roles, the military is open to women also.

I would be interested to know what the yield of recuits would be for the Marines from their MySpace site.

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