An experience recently reported by the NY Times shows what an interactive public diplomacy strategy should be about. Cultural diplomacy has been used as part of US strategy for public diplomacy in a project sponsored by the State Department called DanceMotion USA. The project tries to reach nontraditional audiences in countries that might not have entirely favorable ideas about the United States.
In the end, the project is actually a two-way street: people involved in it affirm they are learning about other cultures with more breadth and depth, and some say that they have received much more than they give to the children involved in the workshops. The impact of the project on the image of the US is hard to measure, but being able to foster intercultural exchange is a huge step towards a sustainably positive outcome of US public diplomacy strategy.
Could this level of human interaction be achieved online? How to deal with cultural differences in a constructively manner in a computer mediated communication?