Amid the doom and gloom on Wall Street, another tragedy was somewhat overshadowed –the bombing of the US embassy in Yemen. I turned to at Dipnote, the official blog of the US dept of State (that I have covered here before) but there was just a passing mention, by James Glassman, the undersecretary for public diplomacy.
These are the moments for social media to provide context and value. If you’re tapping into the nodes and feedback of social media, you know that speed has a bearing on influence. It’s not always about the pictures, and good PR. An outfit like this could probably leverage enough citizen journalists when needed –to cover other stories too as they break.
It’s not that they don’t get it the engagement thing. Glassman’s conference call talks of how the US is finding its footing in the untested middle ground of diplomacy. (Do we begin to call this social media diplomacy? ) He speaks of a digital outreach team that engaged, via blog posts, the media adviser to Iranian President Ahmadinejad.
But what about the rest of the world through the lens of Dipnote? Coverage of India, and China are very slim. What’s its view of civil rights in Myanmar or Sri Lanka, for instance? Not one entry there. I’m curious to see how these new tools of diplomacy will better connect us to the big picture — the developments outside the usual (media-led) discussions of conflict, terrorism and oil.