Tag Archives: social media

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.

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.

Professional Networking Platforms for Governments

Creating a searchable directory of contact information  for the employees of government agencies isn’t a new concept. Not so long ago, agency telephone directories were the tool of choice for finding colleagues.

Now, social networking sites facilitate internal or cross-agency searches for colleagues with expertise in particular subjects.

LinkedIn is one of the best known professional networking platforms. Others include NingXing, Yammer and other sites detailed on this list.  The Wall Street Journal wrote about social networking among professionals seeking experts for consultation or collaboration.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires staff to register professional data on entry, as part of new employee check-in procedures.  The idea is to have access to the skillsets and knowledge of all employees.  Without a database of skills — which may go far beyond one’s job title, pay grade or academic degrees — how can scientists find the best person for feedback, comment, brainstorming or information?   The professional networking database is behind NRC’s firewall, but they do keep an open door for public participation.

The blog-stirs are drumming interest in the U.S. State Department’s proposed social networking platform with a draft title “Statebook”. 

* 2010 April 27 – Government Computer News – State Department social network in the works

*2010 April 17 – OhMyGov – State Department to Launch Its Own Social Network Statebook

* 2010 April 12 –  GovTech – Facebook Style Site Coming Soon to the U.S. State Department

* 2010 April 8 – IT Web – Departamento de Estado dos EUA terá rede como Facebook (Portuguese version)

* 2010 April 8 –  Information Week –  State Department Building Facebook Style Site

Professional networking sites benefit constituencies and customers, as well as employee groups. The Scottish local government uses professional networks to enable communication with its customers and among public service sectors.  Science Daily reports on the educational benefits of social and professional networking sites.

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.

Not Gadget :: Not Ap :: Not Widget

There’s nobody like Virtual Reality  pioneer Jaron Lanier.  Some in IT policy and law don’t appreciate his thinking which should be a recommendation.  The human brain is not a commodity.  Let’s train brains to expanded consciousness, whimsey, creative connection and sustained focus.  Twittering among gagetry and proving opposable manual capacity does not signify a brighter synchrotron or snappier cerebral snapse.  

Read more here:  http://www.slate.com/id/2239466/

Old + Young Diplomats :: E-training?

Myth:  Anybody with a real job is too old and too busy for social networking.

Reality: Average age of a participant in the social media universe is 37 according to Pingdom. A third of all social network site users are over age 45.   Pew Internet & American Life Project  Nine Tribes of the Internet  explains the personality and behavioural features of new media adapters.

^^^^

How does this impact eDiplomacy?  Diplomats span demographics and job titles.  There are citizen exchange programs and competitions for student diplomats and  Diplomats in Residence at universities.  Ideascale  wants your opinion on a proposed program for school age diplomats. The American Diplomacy Foreign Affairs Oral History Program archives interviews of senior diplomats.

Great Britain maintains a tradition of grooming young diplomats through the Foreign Service Programme at Oxford as described in this article by Jimmy Burns of the Financial Times.   Will they explore the skills and tools required for 21st Century eDiplomacy —  when a modulated voice and firm handshake translate to streaming video convocations and Twitter text?

The United States is still debating the creation of a U.S. Public Service Academy .  Many prospective American diplomats study their trade at private schools  — Georgetown, George Washington, Tufts and other universities.  Yet any U.S. citizen can apply for the Foreign Service Exam,  a step in the application process for career positions with the U.S. Department of State.   U.S. diplomats receive specific training at the Foreign Affairs Training Center .   

Affaires étrangères et Commerce international Canada (Foriegn Affairs and International Trade Canada) presents their Foreign Service Exam with a practice test.  Find out whether you have the proficiency to represent Canada to the world.

German diplomats embrace diplomacy by networking. Germany’s Federal Foreign Office sponsors international training programs for diplomats with networking opportunities for seminar alumni.  “German foreign policy is peace policy” is a vision statement we can all learn from.