Tuesday, January 21st 2014
My mother used to grouse about the small Texas town where she grew up, a place where “everybody knew your business.” Perhaps that was partly why my parents moved to the big city of Fort Worth, Texas, where I was born.
Nobody likes a nosey neighbor.
Last year’s revelations about United States electronic surveillance delivered a body blow to America’s soft power, with no detectable public reaction from America’s diplomats. After President Obama’s speech, the United States can begin a more robust dialogue on the subject – if public diplomacy leaders take action.Read More
Monday, July 8th 2013
Stories about $650 thousand spent by the State Department’s International Information Programs (IIP) bureau on Facebook advertising have proliferated, prompting extensive discussion (see John Brown’s public diplomacy blog for examples.)
The background comes from an inspection report recently made public by State’s Office of the Inspector General. Our busy commentators can’t possibly have read the report, or their accounts would pick up far more salient issues.Read More
Saturday, March 9th 2013
Yesterday's Internet Freedom conference sponsored by Tech@State spanned broadcasting and public diplomacy. And everything else. More than 50 technologists discussed the global tug of war between human rights and repression, economic development and cyber attacks, and the erosion of privacy.
Talking with State Department public diplomats I rarely hear of this topic. I wonder how that will change when (probably not "if") the United States suffers a zero-day attack.Read More
Friday, April 20th 2012
Have you noticed the chatter about the State Department and new media over the past month?
ITEM: After a Tumblr blog put captions on photos of Secretary Clinton wearing sunglasses, imagining text messages that she might be sending to celebrities, the Secretary didn’t protest. She invited the authors to the State Department to meet in person. Public diplomacy can’t buy this kind of publicity.Read More
Wednesday, December 7th 2011
My fellow contributor Brian Carlson called my attention to the U.S. State Department's announcement of a new virtual embassy for Tehran. Available in English and Farsi, the site aggregates official USG information of interest to Iranian citizens, who of course have no actual U.S. embassy or consulate.
The site was blocked from Iranians' view right away by the Government of Iran.Read More