I wonder if people half my age don't feel a jar when they hear that Buck Rogers-sounding phrase "21st Century".
The new statecraft has stuff like this (which I learned about on my Facebook):
The Secretary of State’s Senior Advisor for Innovation Alec Ross will participate in a Live at State video web chat with journalists and bloggers from around the world to discuss 21st Century Statecraft on Tuesday, January 10 at 09:45 a.m. EST. You can watch a live webcast of the discussion on video.state.gov.
You know who else is a senior official for innovation now? Surkov!
It looks like the month of statecraft activities will (mercifully) leave the Central Asian region untouched.
Although you could still work it in here, in the chat about International Organizations.
Let me just say that the US Department of State's Official Presence on Tumblr looks for all the world like a communique from Anonymous. Does the same artist do their design work?
I'm familiar with Tumblr and pretty savvy with social media, having been on Twitter since 2007, etc. And I have to say I didn't see any way to post comments either on the Tumblr blog or the State Department page, but maybe I'm missing something. Accordingly, I wrote the email address.
I wonder if anybody is analyzing whether all these massive numbers of State Department social media thingies are, well, making foreign policy better. At least they make us feel involved, no?
The other day I was reading the US Embassy in Tashkent's Facebook page. It asked readers what was the most important thing they wanted to achieve in 2012. Numerous young people wrote that their dream was to get a US visa and study at a US university. A few said things like "to get married".
A US Embassy manager of the Facebook page noted that Uzbek telecom companies had reduced the Internet costs by 60%; how were people finding this and how did it affect their use of the Internet?
The page has 8,000 "likers" (not quite the same thing as "friends" -- it's a page) -- and only a few answered that they now had cheaper and speedier web access but were still waiting for 4G to come to Uzbekistan -- they didn't say *what* they read on the Internet (and would be unlikely to on such a public page). It occurred to me that maybe through the vast net of such numerous little conversations the US hopes to get some open-source intelligence. Seems like an arduous way to go about it.
What is social media for, if not for the feedback? Well, it's a PR tool, a means of projecting the "smart power" of the US, that is now going to even have a smarter, smaller military footprint. I'm not sure the more interactive social media package that the same foreign policy positions are wrapped in now makes them more consumable for the world public.