Hands of a guy on laptop keyboard

‘The Ambassador’s New Car’ and other lessons from Sina Weibo

Published on 20 December 2012
Updated on 05 April 2024

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 innovation shown in the work of the Canadian Embassy in Beijing on the Sina Weibo platform demonstrates how important it is in eDiplomacy to steer innovation with experience.

During the evening session of the Rome eDiplomacy day at the Canadian Embassy in Rome Mark presented the work they have been doing, using this slideshow as the basis for his narrative. The case of ‘The Canadian Ambassador’s New Car’ is especially interesting, demonstrating among other things that you can’t predict what will take off in social media, but you had better be prepared for it if it does, ready at the click of a key to watch, engage, and respond calmly to suddenly, very fast moving news and stories. Experience counts! 


We interviewed Mark later on to learn more about the the ‘personality’ of the Canadian Embassy profile and some of their learning over the past couple of years. I was especially struck by the relationship between innovation and attitudes to risk that he discusses. 

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