The US embassy in Rome over the past seven years is probably one of the best vantage points from which to survey the growth of eDiplomacy and its impact on diplomats and their work. Antonio Deruda, a journalist by training, was one of their Press Liason officers until recently and he has written a book inspired by his experiences there and the changes he witnessed among diplomats in Rome, the US, and globally.
- May I be your ally on Facebook? (a case-study of the US Embassy in Indonesia);
- Stories of diplomats who got trapped in the net;
- Geopolitics in the era of Facebook;
- The Chinese Paradox: domestic web censorship and foreign propaganda.
It concludes with five proposals for Italian digital diplomacy. I interviewed Antonio while I was in Rome running a training programme at FAO (of which more below). He summarises in this video some his key insights, including how conversation with publics has become the norm, along with the challenges that brings. He also addresses the issue of Return of Investment, the second most common question when we do training. (The first? Along the lines of, ‘do I have to do this?’, to which the answer is ‘no, of course not, but you might find yourself in a diminishing minority’)