Not YouTube -- Latest hot social site is TroopTube

The Pentagon this week gave back a little of what it took away a year ago - it launched its own social media site called TroopTube that will let troops and families upload and share videos.

You may recall that the Pentagon killed off military user  access to YouTube and other social media sites back in 2007 in a effort to protect information and reduce drag on the department's networks -- not to mention crack down or at least better control how service personnel communicate with the outside world. Other sites included in the ban include: Metacafe, IFilm, StupidVideos, and FileCabi, the social networking sites BlackPlanet and Hi5, music sites Pandora, MTV, and 1.fm, and live365, and the photo-sharing site Photobucket.

   According to a Navy Times report TroopTube, launched on Veterans' Day, had amassed more than 500 videos in its first 24 hours of operation. The article went to to say not to look for anything too wacky on TroopTube as all videos are subject to screening for "taste, copyright violations and national security issues," according to the Web site, which is administered by Military OneSource, the Pentagon's online family resource center.

The key is that access to TroopTube is permitted via DoD computers worldwide.

There are other options for soldiers and families to communicate. Earleir this year Garry Trudeau, creator of the long-running, comic strip Doonesbury said he would combine his characters with the blog writings of service members in Iraq and Afghanistan to compile a book from their web site with the same name called "The Sandbox. "

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