• Public Diplomacy

    Congratulations Melanie Ciolek!

    Congratulations to Melanie Ciolek on winning the USC Center on Public Diplomacy’s Prize for Best Student Paper for 2010. Melanie’s paper, How Social Media Contributes to Public Diplomacy: Why Embassy Jakarta’s Facebook Outreach Improves Understanding of the Limitations and Potential for the State Department’s Use of Social Media, was published on this blog back in June. Melanie wrote “How Social Media Contributes to Public Diplomacy” as a student in my Public Diplomacy and Technology (PUBD510) last semester. (See and comment on the draft syllabus for Spring 2011.)

  • Now Media,  Public Diplomacy

    In the interest of informed debate on Public Diplomacy

    By Craig Hayden I am curious to hear the following statement, made by one of America’s preeminent critics of public diplomacy thinking, clarified a bit more: All too many academic theories about PD are incomprehensible, pompously-expressed “concepts” from persons — among them rightfully esteemed tenured professors whose intelligence is all too often joined with a tactless inability to handle the last three feet of person-to-person contact — who have never actually worked as diplomats in the field of “public diplomacy,” which they pontificate about, often too assuredly, from their ivory towers on comfortable campuses so distant from what some call the “real world.” The quote appeared in a recent article…

  • Now Media

    A (Digital) Revolution in Latin America

    By James Davis If Barack Obama’s campaign introduced American voters to the raw power of the web to win elections, the come-from-behind victory of Juan Manuel Santos as President of Colombia showed that e-democracy works even in places where democracy itself is fragile. Santos, a conservative-leaning Defense Minister under popular incumbent President Àlvaro Uribe, ultimately won election on June 20 in a 2-to-1 blowout, racking up 69 percent of the vote. But on the day 38 -ear-old Ravi Singh from Washington-based Electionmall.com arrived in Colombia, Santos’ campaign was clearly in trouble, with polls showing Bogotá mayor Antanas Mockus’ reformist Green Party within striking distance of victory in the first round…

  • Media,  Now Media,  Social Media

    Engaging in a Now Media Continuum

    By Chris Dufour This post is based on Chris Dufour’s presentation at the MountainRunner Institute’s Now Media 6 July 2010 seminar. This seminar will be held again in 2010, so stay tuned. This past Tuesday, July 6th, 2010, I got the opportunity to speak as part of the MountainRunner Institute‘s “Now Media” seminar at the National Press Club. For the less sharp-eyed out there, I’ve been proud to call Matt Armstrong (MRi President and a highly AWESOME blogger) a friend for some time… even before he provided the first forum for Must. Be. AWESOME!!! in its proto-stage. A few months ago, Matt asked me to help him transform his blog,…

  • Now Media,  Psychological Struggle

    Al Qaeda publishes an English language magazine

    Marc Ambinder reports at The Atlantic Al Qaeda is now publishing an English-language magazine. As the U.S. struggles to manage its efforts to influence opinion about Al Qaeda abroad, Al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula has produced its first English-language propaganda magazine. … The table of contents teases an interview with the leader of AQAP who promises to "answer various questions pertaining to the jihad in the Arabian Peninsula."  It includes a feature about how to "make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom." AQAP’s first effort to post the magazine to jihadist websites failed Wednesday, as many of the pages were contaminated with a virus. (I half seriously…

  • Congress,  Events,  Now Media,  Other

    USA Lost and other depressing news

    Team USA lost to Ghana in the World Cup in a contest that went into extra time. The referring was not quite the factor it was in previous games, but the referee yesterday should have warned and even penalized Ghana for delay of game and pretending to be fouled. He did neither but in the end, that did not change the fact Team USA could not put the ball in the net, despite several good opportunities to do so. South Korea, another team I hoped would make it to the next round, was also defeated. Also depressing is the nominees for the Broadcasting Board of Governors have yet to be…

  • Events

    MountainRunner in the UK for a public diplomacy conference

    MountainRunner is in the United Kingdom for the Wilton Park conference “Public Diplomacy: Moving from Policy to Practice?” As the event is under Chatham House Rule, I will not tweet or blog about it. I’m looking forward to the next several days, which will include presentations and discussions with: Jeremy Browne, Minister of State, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Judith McHale, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs; Stefanie Babst, Deputy Assistant Secretary General, Public Diplomacy Division, NATO; Jimmy Leach, Head, Digital Diplomacy, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Peter Horrocks, Director, BBC Global News; Jan Melissen, Head, Clingendael Diplomatic Studies Programme (CDSP), Netherlands Institute of International Relations;…

  • Guest Posts,  Social Media

    The Catholic Church and Online Media

    This is the first of an ongoing series of journal-style peer-reviewed articles that will begin appearing at www.MountainRunner.us (and soon at www.MountainRunnerInstitute.org) on subjects and issues related to public diplomacy and strategic communication, U.S. or otherwise. The Catholic Church and Online Media by Mariana González Insua View the article or download the article (160kb PDF). The recent explosion of Catholic sex abuse scandals around the world was the motor that propelled the Vatican to get a foothold on the last social media space that had, until a few weeks ago, remained unconquered by the Catholic Church: Twitter. Given the growing online competition for soul-share, the Church’s negative image in relation…