Twitter is not only the fastest growing form of social media around, but also a veritable initiation to digital diplomacy for most ambassadors around the globe. Indeed, 140 characters have changed the way we see the world.
As a fairly recent recruit to the ranks of Twitter, I’m still undecided when it comes to assessing the kind of tweets which are likely to be effective from a public diplomacy point of view. What is clear is which are not.
'Today’s State Department, as shaped by Secretary Clinton, ... has created a better balance between the “Billiard Ball World” and the “Lego World”', writes Andreas Sandre, the Washington based Italian diplomat who has carved out an influential curatorial role in e-diplomacy.
"Age is no guarantee of efficiency" and "Youth is no guarantee of innovation".
The 'shift in power from governments to social actors' as Anne-Marie Slaughter, puts it, is very significant for e-diplomacy. This is partly because this opening up has changed both the context and roles of diplomats.
Innovation is often seen as something done by young people. The Canadian Embassy in Beijing's experiments with Wei-plomacy have been led by a seasoned Diplomat, Mark McDowell, whose long, distinguished career suggests he probably wouldn't qualify for a young-person's railcard!
‘The higher the budget often the lower the impact of e-diplomacy projects,’ was the first counter-intuitive insight by Ambassador Alexandre Fasel, Swiss Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva (delivered at the Geneva e-diplo
"It's absolutely not about technology...but about changing culture", said Anders Norskers, Chief of ITU Information Services at the ITU, during the panel discussion at the Geneva eDiplomacy day last month.
Richard Boly is one of the most consistent and successful innovators in eDiplomacy.
In the early 1800s, John Marshall wrote: “To listen well is as powerful a means of communication and influence as to talk well.” The longest-serving Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court and the father of American Constitutional Law, Marshall didn’t have tools like Twitter and Facebook.