U.S. Army Garrison Baden-Württemberg, Germany, has hopped on the social networking bandwagon by launching its own site that goes beyond just posting pictures and creating personal pages.

The site is called BW Now and its creators tout it as a way to connect the community.

"This site is a community site. It is fed (by its members’ activities)," said Lira Frye, USAG Baden-Württemberg’s public affairs officer. "It is a very good place for groups to share their information," she said.

It features tidbits about upcoming recreational activities, blogs, videos of events around the area and a rumor-control section where people can ask questions and get answers from commanders. People can also post photos and talk about a range of subjects in the forums, such as living in Germany and traveling in Europe. People can also create profile pages and groups.

BW Now was a hit even though it was launched with little fanfare in February.

As of Tuesday, it had 597 members, Frye said. More than 75 people have signed up in the past two weeks alone.

Having more than 500 members means the site has hit a crucial benchmark and has an increased chance to be self-sustaining, Frye said. The site’s address is

A "Ning" site, which officials said is believed to be the first of its kind for a U.S. military command in Europe, allows people to create and share their own social networking sites.

The garrison’s public affairs, however, monitors it to make sure that nothing inappropriate is posted, and so far, everything submitted since its February launch has been posted, Frye said.

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