Purpose of this blog

To share experiences, research and informed opinions on Information Operations, Strategic Communication, Public Diplomacy, Inform and Influence Activities, Influence Engagement, marketing, advertising, social media, electronic warfare, deception, operational security, cyber and computer network operations, including attack, exploit and defend.

The Author

Mr. Joel Harding is an adviser and consultant for information operations, strategic communication and cyberwarfare. Joel spent the past 35 years working national security issues, beginning with a career as an enlisted soldier on a Special Forces Operational Detachment – Alpha, followed by a career as a military intelligence officer, and since the mid-1990s he has worked and supported information operations at all levels. He has worked in the department of defense, in the corporate world and as a subject matter expert at a not-for-profit professional trade association, the AOC. While at the AOC, he was the director of the IO Institute, editor of the IO Journal, the organizer of InfowarCon and spoke in Canada, Russia and China about information warfare and cyberwar.


I would like to thank my good friend and mentor, Dr. Dan Kuehl, for inventing the phrase “To Inform is to Influence”.  Too often I have heard public affairs professionals say they are just providing information.  In my opinion, this is an arrogant statement, ignoring the fact that words mean things to an audience and may directly impact future events.

I would also like to thank my friend, Matt Armstrong, for establishing and maintaining his blog MountainRunner.us at such a high level of professionalism.  Matt accepted a very prestigious position and his blog has gone dark.  I hope to cover a few of his topics in this blog as a service to the strategic communication and public diplomacy communities.

I would also like to thank my friend, Ozgur Vural, at Concepts and Strategies, for encouraging me to research, write and hopefully become published.  Ozgur provided the kick in the pants I needed to establish this blog.

I also must thank Nigel Oakes and Dr. Lee Rowland for showing me what is possible in the art and especially the science of influence.   Here is a hint of what he does: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AB28IJbvbe0&feature=related

Why I do what I do

Just the fact that this issue concerns you enough to read this blog is proof that what you, me and others are discussing concerns more than just one person.

I remember when I was a kid, growing up in the 1960s and we said “don’t trust anybody over 30?” Our parents agonized that we would be a lost generation.  Now we look at our children and their children’s generation and wonder if we will leave them anything worth saving. We’ve ‘dumbed it down’, pre-digested everything and made it all politically correct and look what we’re left with. A whole lot of cow doo-doo. And horse do-do. I hope uou get the idea.

I’m here to tell you I’ve had interns work for me in the past few years who have renewed my faith that all is not lost. They still look to people like me for guidance, for our experience and offering lessons and even our friendship.

We’re still “taking on the world”. We’re still rebels and the world needs us.

Before I leave this world in 45 years (I promised my wife I’ll stick around that long, till I’m 100), I’m going to make a place for more discussion. Leave the world some place to argue the pros and cons for a way ahead. Not THE way ahead, but one of many. I’m going to help teach that thinking and questioning are right. And I’m going to show them heroes who not only question authority and the status quo, but try to make a difference. There is still hope in this world and thanks to you guys, it will be a better place.

26 thoughts on “About

    1. Robin, agreed, although I wish you have made this comment on the appropriate page: http://toinformistoinfluence.com/2011/12/16/irans-news-releases-a-little-truthful-bold-lies-or-bs/ I can’t move your comment to the correct page…

      The database records only one case of a UAV being ‘shot down’ and no cases of ‘hijacking signal’. Most of the crashes happened while taking off and landing.

      I guess I could go back into my blog and tweak the words I used, suffice it to say the Iranians are making a disingenuous claim: that 90 drones have been shot or forced down.

  1. I’m interested in the “Old Crows” LinkedIn group. I’d like to join.

    Just sent LinkedIn request to you.

  2. Joel, thanks for sharing the link of your blog with me. It is a very resourceful blog. I will recommend it to others. All the best!

  3. Love the blog. Glad I ran across it. My expertise is in competitive strategy and communication simulation (a Silicon Valley refugee now in DC). I use an ontology of influence strategies to depict and anticipate moves and countermoves in the information/influence space. I look forward to reading more posts.

  4. Hear hear Joel. Were the same age with the same goals and apparent point of view. Just sent you a LinkedIn invite. Will have an article published Monday which advances the discussion on a new more inclusive electoral system for Canada. First-past-the-post is about to be sent to the glue factory in Canada as our destinies shouldn’t equate to galloping thoroughbreds.

  5. “Jessikka is, without a doubt, one of the most courageous people I have ever met.”

    Are you talking about this jesSIKA aro?

    “4. DRUG CRIME
    Criminal Code Chapter 50 Section 1

    1.1.2002 – 28.12.2002 Hyvinkää, Finland

    During 2002, Jessikka Aro has used amphetamine almost daily, with the exception of small breaks and on 27 December she acquired 5 to 6 grams of amphetamine. She has also offered this amphetamine to her friends.”

    1. “Hunters”, I am quite curious how long it took you to come up with the reference to Sika? Pig in Finnish. You must be quite proud of that. I’m just curious, were you drunk when you thought of that? High? Both?

      Have you ever considered that what you are doing to Jessikka is not only illegal, it is immoral, unethical, and socially repugnant? Yeah, I didn’t think so. You are the pig wallowing in excrement.

      I’m following the trial with delight.

  6. Hello,

    I was wondering if you have any sponsored posts options available on your site.
    If yes, can you please get back to me with the prices and the details for the same.

    Do let me know

  7. Hello old friend. Interesting discussions. Hope you are doing well. You are a true Patriot. Thank you for your service.

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