Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The word on the street, the key influencers, the opinions, perceptions, myths, rumors and chatter.

The word on the street, the key influencers, the opinions, perceptions, myths, rumors and chatter
By William F. Metts, Atmospherics Director, Tracometry People.

Yesterday I wrote in this blog post about the similarities between gangs and insurgents.  I will disclose that I had no idea about the 60 Minutes story, hat was rebroadcast this last weekend from the original airing in May 2013. 

The story is exactly what I was talking about in yesterday’s post.  Exactly what other guys that served overseas have known about for years.  We know about this because we have witnessed the same thing happening in areas of the world that could not be more different.  Other countries, including ours, have the exact same problems but do not have the benefit of having seen these issues elsewhere.  Policing is local, and outsiders are regarded as suspect – they don’t understand us, we’re different! 

Wrong!

Understanding the word on the street, the key influencers, the opinions, perceptions, myths, rumors and chatter are key to responding to the 3 elements that make an insurgency viable: 
  • Security,
  • Economic opportunity
  • Education 

By themselves, these 3 areas can be baffling to attack: 
  • How does one create an environment for economic opportunity when security is nonexistent and education is low? 
  • How do you improve education in a war zone? 
  • When the locals trust the gangs more than they trust the police, how do policy makers address the security problem?

As Tracometry People have been preaching, Leadership and communication are the absolute necessary first step to attacking these problems.  Unified vision and a shared stake in the success of an area are second.  Then, gathering and analyzing atmospherics, the real-time street chatter that reflects the real sentiments of the locals give an organization the blueprint to solving these issues collectively.  Then policy makers can attack the problem at its root cause, rather than sporadic, reactive, traditional policing – and get the positive results that much quicker.

I noticed at the end of the 60 Minutes piece that this officer and his National Guard unit are going back to Afghanistan to teach these policing measures they have developed to the Afghans. 

Wait – what makes these guys think that what works in Springfield, MA will work in the Khost Province in Afghanistan? 

Oh that’s right – it’s the same problem, no matter where you go. 

I got it.  Do you?

CBS 60 Minutes Video:



Billy F. Metts is a down to earth expert and designer of Atmospheric Noise Collection, what some call Chatter on the Streets.  It is the commercial application on the streets of the world’s cities that has Tracometry People making the difference.  The well-oiled team is making a vast difference in understanding the chatter and the use of social media scraping by those that wish and are doing us harm.


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