Saturday, October 24, 2009

October 24

"Globalization, it turns out, has only intensified, not diminished, cultural differences among nations."

Michael Kimmelman, New York Times; image from


United States Department of State and the Broadcasting Board of Governors Office of Inspector General Report of Inspection Management Review of Youth Programs Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs U.S. Department of State Report Number ISP-I-10-16, October 2009: "KEY JUDGMENTS [:] The youth exchange programs are some of the Department of State’s (Department) most valuable programs for promoting mutual understanding and respect among successor generations globally. • Due to the age group of the participants of youth exchange programs (15 – 18 years), these exchanges constitute one of the most vulnerable exchange programs in the Department and should demand priority of attention. • There is insufficient oversight of the youth exchange programs at all levels within the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) in the Department and at the private sector sponsors’ level. • There are insufficient dedicated resources at ECA to conduct effective oversight of youth exchange programs. • There should be a restructuring of the youth exchanges oversight processes within the ECA since support for the conduct of the program comes from several offi ces within the bureau and is also connected to other programs. • Priority must be given to filling the leadership gap in the ECA to facilitate restructuring the bureau to effectively conduct youth exchange programs." Courtesy LB


Enterprise architecture can manage the use of social media - Rutrell Yasin, "State is using social-media tools to broaden the reach of its diplomacy beyond government-to-government relations. It must be government-to-people and people-to-people, said Kenneth Rogers, State’s director of enterprise architecture and planning. As a result, using social media has an external focus through the Office of Public Diplomacy and an internal focus through the Office of eDiplomacy. Other miscellaneous deployments of social media are fragmented across the department, he said. State uses multimedia tools, including YouTube, Facebook, blogs, Flickr and Twitter. For example, DipNote, State’s official blog, provides context and behind-the-scenes insights on the foreign policy headlines. Commentary is provided by those doing the work, Rogers said. On the internal side, there is State’s wiki, Diplopedia, an online encyclopedia of foreign affairs information with more than 9,000 articles, 2,000 registered editors, and 33,000 page views per week. State is looking for ways to take advantage of this wiki with the intelligence community’s Intellipedia, an internal online encyclopedia, Rogers said. Other eDiplomacy social-media initiatives include the Virtual Presence Posts program, through which State is trying to broaden its engagement with cities, communities, regions and countries that don't have a U.S. embassy or consulate building.

For example, most Virtual Presence Posts have a Web site, and diplomats in nearby embassies or consulates may use travel, public outreach programs, media events, or online webchats to create a virtual presence for local populations. Where does enterprise architecture fit into all of the social-media activity at State? 'Like anything with enterprise architecture, it is hard to stay ahead of the curve,' Rogers said. This is challenging because Web 2.0 moves a lot faster than the life cycle of other technologies. As a result, using social media has an external focus through the Office of Public Diplomacy and an internal focus through the Office of eDiplomacy." Image from

State puts X-Life games into play for Middle Eastern youths - William Jackson, "Since its founding in June 2008, X-Life Games has launched two mobile computer games in collaboration with the State Department’s eDiplomacy program and has garnered a modest following of players in the Middle East. 'Today we have 2,000 players around the world,' most of them in Egypt and Indonesia, said Ali Manouchehri, chief executive officer of MetroStar Systems, parent company of X-Life. The games, designed for play on Internet-enabled cell phones, are part of State’s diplomacy program to improve understanding of the United States in other countries. The department has experimented with electronic information delivery for several years and employed social-media applications on its Web page, but this has been its first foray into computer gaming. ... State is a fan of social networking for public diplomacy. 'We’ve been using Facebook for about a year now,' Receveur [Tim Receveur, a foreign affairs officer at State’s Bureau of International Information Programs] said. The department hosts an online chat forum called Co.Nx on Facebook, built on Adobe Acrobat Connect Web conferencing software. Ambassadors and other U.S. officials hold scheduled chat sessions on policy subjects, such as a recent discussion with the ambassador to Kenya on U.S./Kenyan relations. 'With Co.Nx, we have gotten more feedback in an afternoon than we sometimes get in months,' Receveur added."

VOA TXTG: SMS Technology Helps Amplify the Voice of America – Mitchell Polman, "With Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking tools coming to the fore as public diplomacy tools, you might be surprised to know that a relatively old-fashioned technology – text messaging – is a favored vehicle for outreach from the Voice of America.

VOA has been expanding the use of SMS technology to deliver news and information to its audience worldwide. The growing use of mobile phone technology in developing countries, especially in Africa, has made it possible for VOA to reach people directly. VOA is using SMS to deliver public health information, monitor elections, and alert people to breaking news." Polman image from

Craigslist Founder Craig Newmark and Digg Co-Founder Jay Adelson Featured Speakers at DMW's SF Event Next Week - Ned Sherman, Digital Media Wire: "Craig is involved with a variety of community efforts and is particularly interested in organizations promoting public diplomacy, mideast peace and new forms of media such as participatory journalism."

Crusader's Armory: Urge Your Rep. to Support H.Res.763! - "111th CONGRESS 1st Session H.

RES. 763 Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the United Nations resolutions on the `defamation of religions' are incompatible with the fundamental freedoms of individuals to freely exercise and peacefully express their religious beliefs [September 222, 2009]” states that "[E]ducation and public diplomacy are vital tools in the protection of a peaceful and robust exchange of ideas and beliefs." Image from

Some RFE history in Reagan Library's "Fall of the Wall" exhibit (updated) - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

White House nominates new Ambassador for Geneva - UN Dispatch - ‎"The White House nominated former UNESCO Ambassador Betty King to head the United States UN office in Geneva. ... She currently serves ... on the Advisory Board of the Annenberg School of Public Diplomacy."

Hungarian Youth Atlantic Council: YATA Final Report on the 14th General Assembly - "The 14th YATA General Assembly took place in Kiev, Ukraine from the 7th to the 9th of October 2009, under the general theme '60 Years of NATO and looking ahead.' ... 17 hours ago ... Tamas Godo Michel Duray, Head of NATO Public Diplomacy Outreach Country Section[,] concluded the debate with precious insights on the efforts that NATO is dedicating to informing partner countries civil society."

Romania and NATO new strategic concept - Financiarul: "NATO strategic concept is a public diplomacy document containing the main development directions of the North-Atlantic Alliance, the latest such document being drawn up in 1999."

A life of faith and service: Unicef worker devotes herself to helping the underprivileged in Africa - Lee Min-yong, JoongAng Daily: "The head of Unicef and Korea’s foreign minister recently signed an agreement that will give Korea a larger role in providing assistance to African countries including Sudan, which will likely expand Kim’s [Kim Kyung-sun, 36, a resource mobilization manager at Unicef’s Sudan office]

work in the region as well. 'Even though Korea is late in stepping into this effort, I see a bright future and believe that Korea can make a large contribution to helping the African people. In this way, Korea is engaging in multilateral cooperation. That’s what we call public diplomacy,' she said." Image (from article): Kim Kyung-sun, second from left in front row, poses for a photo with Sudanese children in Khartoum, Sudan. Kim said she is proud of the work she has done on behalf of children in need and hopes she can help them get a good education and be free from poverty and disease.

Column One: Waging diplomatic war - Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post: "Until Wednesday, Israel refrained from publicly attacking the US's decision to seek an accommodation with Iran. ... On the public diplomacy front, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, his cabinet ministers and the Foreign Ministry should use every opportunity to discredit the latest deal with Iran. They should point out its dangers and call for an end to this diplomatic catastrophe before more damage is done to the cause of preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Such a campaign would probably fail to derail the current talks. But if successful, it would prevent the deal from being used as a means to delegitimize Israel's right to militarily strike Iran's nuclear installations."

Urdu Hai Jiska Naam: Get a free DVD set on the story of the Urdu Language - "‘Urdu Hai Jiska Naam [The Story of Urdu]‘ is a beautiful documentary DVD [both in Urdu and English] on the story and evolution of the Urdu language.

The Public Diplomacy Division of the Ministry of External Affairs, Govt. Of India [the producer] is distributing it free of cost." Image from article


The fall of uplift - Mona Charen, Washington Times: The world thinks better of the United States, we are told, because President Obama is in the White House. Maybe the world is wrong. It's fanciful, of course, to speak of what "the world" thinks about anything.

When Ancient Artifacts Become Political Pawns - Michael Kimmelman, New York Times: Plenty of good arguments, legal, moral, intellectual, economic and artistic, support returning objects that came from Egypt back to Egypt, or from Greece back to Greece, or from Italy back to Italy. And plenty support the opposite: dispersing these artifacts around the world, where they can act as diplomats, benefiting not least the people who occupy the territories from which the art came.

Obamastan - David Swerdlick, The Root:

Obama wants out of Afghanistan. Wrong. Obama is the only Western leader who can simultaneously wage war in and negotiate peace with the broader Muslim world. Image from

More Iranian Injustice – Editorial, New York Times: Iran may sit at the negotiating table with the United States and other world powers, but it will never earn the respect it craves if it continues human rights abuses.

Herding the Sheep - Prison "And the whole word propaganda is a Nazi, communist kind of thing which has no place in the same sentence as America. Right? ... And (I can’t believe we’re still talking about this) while the U.S. government has repeatedly claimed that it was launching propaganda programs solely at foreign enemies, it has actually used them against American citizens."


Now back to your regularly scheduled nifty, blinky things. Like these LED-enhanced false eyelashes designed by artist Soomi Park. They're hooked up to a motion sensor, so as you tilt your head in different directions, they turn on and off. From; via Boing Boing

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