Tag Archives: democracy

Facing Indonesia :: World’s Largest Muslim Population

The Interpreter Fergus Hanson’s blog from the Lowy Institute for International Policy, cites the great leap upward for
Embassy Jakarta’s Facebook fans. The Interpreter’s banner photo is worth the price of admission.

President Obama’s visit to Indonesia in February 2010 was a pivotal event for the increase from 50,000 to nearly 310,000. Hanson proposes that State Department financial support played a role in outreach that drove new fans to the Embassy’s site. But it’s not clear that extra public outreach funding was forthcoming at that time, or since.

The viral nature of social media pushes audience growth exponentially. If the content grabs, Facebook connections ensue. Maybe Embassy Jakarta’s Facebook site is the place to be for Indonesian social medians. If you want to reach people you speak their language and the Embassy’s Facebook site displays Bahasa Indonesian. Would be interesting to see the metrics on where those 309,878 fans live and vote.

Advertisements

What’s happening in Tunisia

Some may be aware of the pro democracy street activism now occuring in Tunisia. I saw a news report last night on French TV in Washington. This blog reports government oppression, citizen censorship and street violence. Social media tools give citizens a voice. Are there any colleagues in Tunisia who can comment on this ongoing movement?

Since early January, Embassy Tunis’s Facebook page has become one of the frontlines of freedom of speech in a country that is in the process of a democratic transition. Many Tunisians are now using it as their primary source of up-to-the-minute information about current events and popular sentiment.

Ecocide::Will UN Treat Seriously?

Ecocide — an international crime to destroy or contaminate the environment that humans live in.

Sustainabilitank.info reports that supporters of a new ecocide law  believe it could be used to prosecute “climate deniers” who distort science and facts to mislead the uninformed and to discourage voters and politicians from tackling climate change and environmental degredation.

British innovator and lawyer Polly Higgins presents a declaration of planetary rights, and a proposal that declares mass destruction of ecosystems a crime on a par with genocide.  Well, actually, destroying where humans live is the essential genocide, not “on a par with”.

Consider ::  Will it matterwhether it is a crime to eliminate any categories of humans  (genocide) if there is no habitable place for any humans?

World Leaders Use Social Media

Real Leader’s Tweet  — Digital Daya  presents data that 15 percent of the world’s 163 countries are represented by political leaders or governments on Twitter.

Huffington Post presents a list of 15 world leaders who tweet —  old news from mid-March 2010.  Probably more now. 

No10 Muzzeled: 10 DowningStreet twitter updates will be restricted during the run up to the UK election.

Estonia knows about the value of online communication.  The cyberwar of April 2007 disrupted government, media and banking during days of distributed denial of service attacks. Estonia is preparing for the next cyber meltdown.

Chile’s President and Cabinet use Twitter and blogs  for direct interaction with citizens.  Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India may have a blog somewhere, but I didn’t find it.  Meanwhile, here is a November 23, 2009  interview with Prime Minister Singh presented by the Council on Foreign Relations and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.  

And here’s one Head of State who isn’t happy about tweets and blogs about his family life.

Broadband = Citizen Involvement

Government agencies are blogging and tweeting faintly, thumbing into blog e-topia where Gov is already 2.0. Next year’s insiders know what that means. This year’s insiders are already operating in Gov 3.0.

Eugene J. Huang, the Government Operations Director of the National Broadband Task Force, delivered a speech at MIT’s Center for Future Civic Media on Feb. 24th, about Broadband and the Future of Civic Engagement.

“The FCC launched a presence on Facebook, twitter and other social media sites. Since launching on Twitter last fall, we have amassed more than 330,000 twitter followers, making us the third highest of any government agency – behind only the White House and the CDC.” said Huang. FCC sponsors a public access blog where the Broadband Task Force members post updates.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) uses social media platforms to provide access to current health information, providing, for example, reliable information about the H1N1 virus to the public.

Why broadband?

It will expand access to information in our society. A democracy depends on informed and engaged citizens. Broadband internet access will permit more people to reach farther into public information held by governments as well as enable communication among citizens. Broadband would facilitate citizen diplomacy. Citizens can use broadband-enabled tools that will advance democracy and include more participatotion at all levels.

Broadband will facilitate “open and transparent government, public media, social media, engaging citizens in government innovation, and modernizing our democratic processes. We believe that broadband has the potential to transform civic engagement. But this transformation will not occur on its own. It will take a commitment from all of us – our government, our elected leaders, and the American people – to renew our democracy in a broadband enabled twenty-first century,” said Huang.

“Social media … isn’t a pilot project. … Government should use a variety of new media tools – from those primarily used to communicate, to those that enable more intensive participation and that specialize in co-production and co-governance. Social media is also giving rise to citizen-to-citizen diplomacy,” said Huang. Social media tools are connecting individuals across nations and regions. “As one example, the State Department recently launched its “Virtual Student Foreign Service, enabling college students to become “dorm-room diplomats”. These students are then matched with embassies and students in other countries to build transnational relationships and cultural understanding through digital citizen-to-citizen diplomacy,” he said.

Government is making progress with using social media to improve communication, transparancy and customer service. “Recognizing the promise that social medial holds, our federal government should accelerate the adoption of social media technologies across all agencies,” said Huang.

Social Media :: Diplomacy and Democracy

Who formulates best practices for social media in government? 

In the U.S., there are several groups who establish governance for using social media for government communications and collaboration.  Webcontent.gov   provides general guidance.  Web Manager University offers orientation for web professionals new to government practices vis a vis social media. The  Web Content Managers Forum may have restrictions for membership.

At the Department of State, The Public Webmasters Symposium offers best practices for eDiplomats. 

In a quasi e-treaty, Estonia and Spain have signed a safer social networking agreement.  The signatories pledged to advise the European Commission of their  self-declaration and to explain how they plan to implement the provisions described in the agreement. 

Read more about the principles here:  http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/social_networking/eu_action/selfreg/index_en.htm

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/social_networking/eu_action/index_en.htm