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  • ICT,  Psychological Struggle

    Mobile Phones Combat Taliban’s Afghan “Information Wastelands”

    From Bloomberg-BusinessWeek: “We found that Afghans in the most-troubled, insurgent- held areas lived in information wastelands dominated by militant propaganda,” [U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke] said March 17. “We are fighting back with a revamped strategy that puts the people and their ability to communicate at the forefront of our effort.” Joanna Nathan, author of a 2008 report on Taliban propaganda for the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, cautioned that expanding mobile-phone capacity isn’t enough to counteract the Taliban. They have dominated the war of words by exaggerating victories and fueling conspiracy theories, she said. “It’s not the words, but how credible is your message,” said Said Jawad, Afghan ambassador to…

  • Events,  ICT,  Now Media,  Public Diplomacy,  Social Media

    Event: Global Internet Freedom as a foreign policy imperative in a Digital Age

    On March 24, 2010, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) will hold an event to mark the public launch of the U.S. Senate Caucus on Global Internet Freedom. Caucus co-chairs Senators Ted Kaufman (D-DE) and Sam Brownback (R-KS), and other Senate caucus members including Senators Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) and Robert Casey (D-PA) and make remarks. Following the Senators’ remarks will be a panel discussion: Michael Posner, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor; Ambassador Mark Palmer, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs; Alan Davidson, Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs at Google; Richard Fontaine, Senior Fellow at CNAS; Daniel Calingaert, Deputy…

  • ICT

    MountainRunner.us: now available on Android

    MountainRunner.us, the leading blog on public diplomacy and strategic communication you’re reading, is now available as an Android mobile application. Use this barcode to install this program directly on your Android mobile.   MountainRunner.us is also available on Kindle and may soon be available from Apple’s AppStore.

  • Government Broadcasting,  ICT,  Public Diplomacy

    An update on VOA Persia’s iPhone App

    On January 22, 2010, Apple’s App Store had a new application from VOA’s Persian News Network. As noted last month on this blog, Alex Belida said, This new application gives Iranians a unique opportunity to get the latest news on their mobile devices and to share with the world the news as it happens in their country. It is a groundbreaking way to expand our reach inside Iran and deepen our relationship with a key VOA audience. This week, Alex sent me an update.  [Between January 22 and February 19], there have been 5,040 downloads of VOA Persia’s iPhone app via the Apple App Store plus an additional 446 downloads…

  • Defense Department,  ICT,  Social Media

    Assistant Secretary for Outreach and Social Media

    The Defense Department’s Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) has a new deputy: Sumit Agarwal. Agarwal was previously at Google, previously head of Google’s North American mobile products and before that image products. Agarwal’s demonstration of Google’s mobile technology to Robert Scoble from September 2008 is below.

  • ICT,  Media,  Psychological Struggle,  Public Diplomacy,  Social Media,  State Building

    The Soft Power Solution in Iran

    In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, The Soft Power Solution in Iran, former Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Jim Glassman and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Support to Public Diplomacy Mike Doran promotes the active use of public diplomacy for the purpose public diplomacy was intended. Beginning with this unattributed quote from presidential candidate Eisenhower (likely inserted by Mike, who’s working on a book on the period), they wrote, Everything that we do, everything that we say–and everything that we don’t do and don’t say–should be coordinated to meet this goal. Such a policy would have four separate tasks: • Provide moral and…

  • Government Broadcasting,  ICT,  Now Media

    New iPhone app allows uploads from Iran to VOA

    The US Government’s Voice of America (VOA) released a Web application that will allow users in Iran to download and send content to VOA’s Persian News Network (PNN). The application is available for iPhones and Android’s and will be (is?) on Apple App Store, PNN’s website, and on PNN’s Facebook page. According to the VOA, VOA has the largest combined radio and television audience in Iran of all international broadcasters, with one in four adult Iranians tuning in to a VOA program once a week. PNN broadcasts seven hours of television daily, repeated in a 24 hour format, and five hours of radio. Programming is also available around the clock…