ARMOR Poised to Transition to Web-only Publishing

by Lisa Alley

eArmor

Figure 1. The "magazine module," or PB portion of the eARMOR portal, is represented by the "Magazine" drop-down part of the menu at the top of the Webpage and the "Featured in ARMOR" area in the upper left, which rotates among several featured articles in the current edition. The "magazine module" launches archived print editions and the PB's current edition.

Since Training and Doctrine Command is requiring commercial printing contracts for the professional bulletins to end with Fiscal Year 2013, ARMOR will take a printing hiatus after the July-September 2013 edition.

ARMOR is not “dead,” however. We will continue publishing via our Web operation, eARMOR; eARMOR will provide continuity for ARMOR and will continue to provide professional-development information.

One of our initiatives is that you are now able to read ARMOR on your mobile device. We offer the ability to read and download for iBook, Nook and Kindle applications.

Hand-in-hand with our Web-delivery efforts is our goal to offer by full operational capability (eARMOR is in initial operational capability now) a Real Simple Syndication subscription ability for major areas such as each edition of ARMOR, the news and information section called “Armor in Action” and the “ARMOR mobile” feature. Currently we have in place RSS subscription capability for “Armor in Action” so the Armor community can receive immediate alerts when new information is available.

EARMOR’s major thrusts – in addition to delivering the Armor Branch’s professional bulletin – are searchability and access. We are working from our archives to place all editions on-line in a Web-native format such as Hypertext Markup Language. We are coordinating with Donovan Research Library to connect to its pertinent digital collections. As we build from IOC to FOC, our search capability will continue to strengthen.

EARMOR is more than just Web delivery of ARMOR, however – it is a portal made up of several sections that have specific identities and functions. They include:

  • EARMOR’s ARMOR section, or PB section. The PB section is currently represented by the “Magazine” drop-down part of the menu and the “Featured in ARMOR” area, which rotates among several featured articles in the current edition. (Figure 1.) The PB section launches archived print editions and the PB’s current edition. As we build to FOC, published ARMOR magazines will be posted to the Web from the earliest available edition through current editions.
  • Armor in Action.” This area contains links to Armor Branch-specific features and news stories, locating Armor-related news in a centrally accessible place.
  • ARMOR Heritage.” This area exploits the wealth of historical knowledge ARMOR readers have through the “historical series” (featuring notable Armor leaders as well as Armor-related battles, battlefields and equipment, for instance). This area also consists of downloadable posters of Armor and Cavalry distinguished unit insignia or shoulder-sleeve insignia. Future content in this area may include features on famous Armor battles; basic Armor and Cavalry history with a timeline; or a virtual tour of the Armor and Cavalry museum.
  • ARMOR images” contains work by long-time cover artist Jody Harmon as well as Armor-centric photo collections and/or links to photo collections posted on Flickr. This area will also contain links to presentations posted on a site such as Slideshare.
  • The plan for “ARMORcasts” is possibly to offer audio transcripts and podcasts of leader speeches and other broadcasts/audio casts. Currently this feature contains embedded videos and links to videos posted on popular video-sharing sites like YouTube and Vimeo. The intent of “ARMORcasts” and “ARMOR images” is to contain Armor-centric multimedia products such as videos and slide presentations to give visually oriented people information in the format they prefer.
  • The “ARMOR mobile” area offers content for e-publishing such as to iBook, Nook or Kindle reader versions.
  • ARMOR feedback” links to a Web-based feedback form. The rest of this initiative, however, is transparent – we have links for emailing us sprinkled throughout the site, and each article in the most recent editions contain vote/like functions similar to Facebook. Readers may also vote for their selection of best writer of the calendar year from within each article.

The Web address for eARMOR is http://www.benning.army.mil/armor/eARMOR.

As discussed in eARMOR’s writing guidelines, authors must obtain operational-security and their supporting Public Affairs Office’s security-accuracy-policy-propriety clearance in accordance with Army Regulation 360-1. Those procedures remain the same as submission procedures for the hard-copy publication.

EARMOR’s FY14 publication dates and suspenses will be published later this year.


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