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Thanks for reading MountainRunner.us and some notes on the future

First, let me say thanks for reading the blog. I know your schedule is busy and I appreciate that you make the time to read MountainRunner.us. I also appreciate the time you take to discuss the posts. For every comment posted online there are usually two more in my mailbox. I also occasionally hear about a post discussed in a meeting or shared through email to spark offline conversations. Increasing the discourse on America’s discourse is a primary goal of this blog and it seems I’ve been at least modestly successful in that regard.

My goal over the last couple of years has been forums to discuss global engagement, public diplomacy, and strategic communication (or whatever your “tribe” calls it). To date, I have organized two symposiums on this subject, chaired and sat on several panels, and made several presentations. There are several more of these symposiums and discussions in the works so make sure mistakes (that I’m not aware of) are not repeated and to satisfy your requirements and not mine, I want your thoughts on the previous events. I emailed surveys to attendees of the Smith-Mundt Symposium and the Public Affairs in a Global Information Environment symposium. If you attended but did not receive a survey, email me and I’ll send you a link. If you did not attend but want to add your voice (perhaps you read the transcripts or listened to the audio of the Smith-Mundt Symposium), I am interested in any feedback or suggestions you have. Email me. Feedback on the other panels and presentations is also welcome.

You may have noticed a dramatic increase in the number of guest posts on this blog. In fact, it’s been several weeks since I authored a substantial post (is why the readership has gone up?). I “outsourced” the blog to broaden the discussion on the means and purposes of global engagement and in preparation for a new website that will be a home for multi-tiered discussions to be soft-launched this month: the Global Engagement Network. This post lays out the foundation for The GEN. Details will be forthcoming. This does not mean MountainRunner.us is going away…

A few words on the publishing schedule for the next two weeks. A guest post will go up Monday night and another will hopefully be ready for Wednesday. As for my posting, expect a flurry of activity today (Sunday) and then sporadic posting through this week. Next week will be light as I’ll be in Turkey presenting a paper on information, the media, and perceptions to NATO Center of Excellence – Defense Against Terrorism. This will be a bit more detailed than my “New Media is Now Media” presentation at the NATO School last month.