I have an intense dislike of anything that might interrupt conversation at the dinner table – and this dislike is currently focused on mobile phones, no matter how smart they are. I don’t like competing for anyone’s attention, especially when my competition is so intrusive.
I’m not one of the 500 million tweeters (or is that twitterers?) who can pour so much message into 140 characters. I tell myself that I have neither the time nor the inclination to join the rank and file – but truth be told, I simply don’t get the attraction.
Yet I am fascinated by diplomacy and diplomats and ambassadors who love to tweet. So in an effort to marry the apparent mismatch between the discretion required of a diplomat and the tell-all nature of Twitter, and prompted by an earlier blog post by the author, I picked up a copy of Twitter for Diplomats by @andreas212nyc.
This engaging,easy read offers concrete examples of Twitter diplomacy and the tweeting habits of various ambassadors around the world. I read it through once to get the gist of it; and then a second time to better enjoy the anecdotes and experiences recounted. It’s fascinating stuff, even for a confirmed non-tweeter like me.
The author’s intention is to inspire ambassadors and diplomats to open and nurture their accounts – and it wants to inspire all of us to use Twitter to better listen and open our minds. And while he may have failed to convert me, I should probably state for the record that my mobile phone doesn’t do anything but send and receive phone calls and the occasional SMS, and that I remain convinced that I was born into the wrong century.