The VETNET CONCEPT
If you have been on our directory you should have seen “listings" on one of these buttons there is one named “The VETNET". (Now at the top of the page)
This has been broken down for the UK at the moment into Countries, Regions and counties, we can if needed break this further down into towns.
In theory the way it should work is that any organisation, charity, cic, Facebook Group or any other social media platform that needs to share important information to the armed forces and veteran community can achieve this by simply posting one comment.
Currently the most popular platform that veterans use is Facebook, it’s simple, easy to use and great for finding old friends and joining in groups they LIKE and there’s the problem, if you’re not in one of those groups you will never know about it or see any of the information in there and depending on the groups settings you may not even be able to share anything of importance with other groups even if you are a member.
Unless you are a member of every existing group and like every single military and veteran organisation you are never going to see anything that’s urgent until a few days later when it’s too late, simply because you’re not a member or didn’t know about the group.
For example, on Saturday we had a request from one of our Members that uses our App and asked if we could do a post asking for some support from any Veterans that lived near by. I published a post on THE VETNET on the Yorkshire and Humberside page as this is the Region that he came under, I then shared the post to our Facebook page, from there I shared in around 40 veteran groups. Approximately 2 hours later I received a tip off that this guy was a Walter Mitty and had caused problems in the past within the community.
Imagine if this had been a genuine call for help from a Suicidal Veteran?
If veterans were aware of the VETNET any posts like this would have been seen in minutes.
Long story short I put up a post on our main Facebook page, then had to individually share the post within as many big groups that I was a member of without getting a 30-day ban for sharing spam as they call it.
As you can imagine this is all time consuming, meanwhile i was getting replies from some of the groups that allowed it to be published and also private messages asking for more details. I then had to try and get hold of the original poster and due to unavoidable help from my fellow admin I ended up having to do this myself, confusing wasn’t the word and I take my hat off to all the groups that deal with this on a daily basis.
With our neutral platform that we have set up it acts as a central message board for the whole of the community, which means you do not have to be in that group to see first hand information. Certain veterans will not join or work with another group because of a certain person mainly and there will always be jealousy and mud slinging between them all, but when the call of help goes out it is shared within as many circles as possible because we all have the same aim, which is to help a veteran or else why would we set up all these groups, all helping in their own way, even if it is 3-4 days later.
Now with the network of Hubs currently in the UK including Breakfast clubs, walk in Centers or online veteran run networks there should be enough to cover every County if not every major city. With the help from all of the above mentioned and using our platform we believe that we have the capability of reaching the whole of the UK with one post.
So long as every hub and their members know about the VETNET and how it works the quicker this will become a reality. Which is why we need the variety of different organisations just like we had in the forces but working as one unit when the time came. We all understand how Regiments, battalions and squadrons work with all the different troops and sections and we always fought against each other but when the time came we stood as one, so it’s an easy system to learn.
Over time more and more veterans will become aware of this and so long as they use the App and become a free or paid member they will receive a notification if any posts are made on the pages that interest them.
Once they see this notification they can then share it immediately within their own social circles, we also have the capability of setting up groups using our App so basically making a mirror image of Facebook but run for veterans by veterans.
Imagine the capability of this used in conjunction with All Call Signs Beacon alert? or by all the groups that are involved with stopping the persecutions of NI Vets and organising locations and timings. Any information and updates can be seen as soon as it happens which then leaves those best to deal with it to concentrate as a smaller more efficient team without having to run round in various groups trying to find out updates. Any updates can be posted as a replied comment. Once the situation has been dealt with or a new group set up for those involved, the original post can be removed for privacy or dealt with and so keep the news feed nice and clean ready for the next request.
In theory it works back to front, the VETNET is the main member or yourself, if it you want to put it that way and all your friends are posting their latest news they've just heard and wanted to share it on your timeline and so now you want to share it with as many friends of yours that you think might like it, you can set up mini chat rooms and groups the same as to you all do on Facebook, keeping them public, closed or secret, exactly how you do it now. Set up your own admin and run it just like you do now. You can organise these into specific interests the same as we have done with “ stop the persecutions” button.
Imagine setting this up for PTSD COUNSELLING within minutes of any veteran shouting for help they could have any of the counsellors answer them, this could be from any support network so long as they were aware of the setup.
If you explore all the various listings you will find that we have tried to combine as many similar connections as possible but with the 1000s of groups out there you can see we have hardly scratched the surface.
This can only be made possible by using each others local knowledge and the sharing of information of what’s out there, things that you can see at a glance. All of these can be rated on by members that have used any services so that you will always see the top 10 services at the top all rated by veterans for veterans and not there because we are getting paid to signpost there like some other well known services.
As you can imagine there are literally thousands if not more than a million veteran groups around the world, now look at how many registered veterans within the UK, I believe it’s over 4 million without quoting it, now add their wives, girlfriends, husbands, ex forces kids plus all their family and friends, I believe this to be possibly around the 15-20 million figure and just for the UK, this doesn’t include all the expats that live abroad.
We realise this will not be for everyone and why it is perfect, we have just over 2000 social media links listed with us and just short of 1000 pages, if each one of these groups on average had 1000 members and 100 of those decided they liked what they saw, then your network now has 200 pairs of eyes and ears looking out for you and can share back to your own network, I’ll let you do the maths of how many this works out as.
This now gives you the option to either
A. carry on with the one you have already setup with Facebook and all its restrictions and control of what’s seen and published due to their community standards, the one nobody understands except them
B. Start to use the VETNET for sharing important posts or to slowly migrate to the VETNET UK, yes we have plans in place to run mirror set ups for the USA, Australia and Canada and any other country where veterans locate should this prove to be successful with some of the above mentioned already in place and expanding.
Working with the right partners in the Combined-service-charity-shield association, using all the contacts and connections that we have between us. We now have, as a community and coming together, the chance of becoming the first self sufficient veteran network globally. The VETNET.
For those of you that know Latin you will understand our motto
Gary MacMillan CEO and Founder