• 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;…

  • Now Media,  Social Media

    The evolving role of now media in Thailand

    For a little over two months, Thailand’s brewing political conflict surfaced the streets of Bangkok, leading “red shirt” and “yellow shirt” protestors to violently battle their political differences. The riots killed nearly 90 and wounded nearly 1,800 people, disrupting the lives of tourists and locals, including Thai Facebook users. On May 24, 2010, The Christian Science Monitor published an article titled “Thailand’s red shirts and yellow shirts battle it out on Facebook“. The author, Simon Montlake, explains how Thai protestors took advantage of Facebook to fuel hate speech, peer pressure, intolerance, and zealous debate. Ironically, Thais are generally known as polite people who try to avoid confrontation. Regardless, the cultural…

  • 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…

  • Defense Department,  Now Media,  Public Affairs,  Social Media

    Why the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs tweets

    Last week, Federal News Radio interviewed Capt. John Kirby, Special Assistant for Public Affairs for Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on why the Chairman actively engages in social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The chairman, who began Tweeting and Facebooking in 2009, understood that social media was quickly becoming a part of mainstream media and it was just as important to listen to online conversations. Prior to engaging in social media, the Admiral learned from his troops that his internal military audience, which includes younger men and women in uniform, frequently use social media to communicate with each other.  Other federal organizations can…

  • Defense Department,  Now Media,  Public Affairs,  Public Diplomacy,  Social Media

    The Social Media Strategy for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

    The Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the top military officer in the United States, published its social media strategy. The document provides an insight into the current intended purposes and audience size of the various social media platforms in use now by the CJCS. The document describes four goals in the strategy: Engage, Align, Drive, and Expand. Each goal includes objectives for each goal. This is a good step in the right direction for the Chairman and the Pentagon to increase its transparency and relevancy in the discourse over military and foreign policy. As the strategy notes, With the internet being the primary source of…

  • Social Media

    Beyond Boundaries

    Advantages of online media, such as blogs, include the ability to traverse time and space to reach audiences worldwide at a moment convenient to the consumer rather the time of broadcaster, and thus the broadcaster’s choice. This access enables social media to bypass the traditional gatekeepers and hierarchies of information dissemination and access, such as governments, news media, and even scholarly journals. Online tools make it increasingly easy for online content to ignore not just geography but to break through language barriers as well. Such is the world of social media. Every now and again I highlight the global reach of www.MountainRunner.us as an example of the potential of social…

  • ICT,  Now Media,  Psychological Struggle,  Social Media

    Hugo Chávez: taking the battle to the Internet

    By Mariana González Insua Hugo Chávez’ tight grip on Venezuelan media threatens to reach new levels. The Venezuelan leader’s recent announcement that every country needs to regulate the Internet and the launch of his “guerrilla” communicational campaign have sparked fears that his control over the media might be extended to the online world. Chávez’ dominance of traditional forms of media in Venezuela is unquestionable. Not only does the Venezuelan leader have his own weekly show, but he is the brain behind Telesur and Radio del Sur, television and radio channels aimed at exporting the Venezuelan “socialist” model beyond Venezuela’s borders while reinforcing Chávez’ message at home. However, what has caused…

  • Events,  Psychological Struggle,  Public Affairs,  Public Diplomacy

    InfoWarCon 2010

    If you’ll be in DC May 12-14, consider attending InfoWarCon, the “edgy, provocative, and evocative” conference on strategic communication and public diplomacy (even though State will be minimally represented… last year there were objections from the Truman building that “war” was in the event’s title) and cybersecurity / cyberwarfare. Checkout the agenda. Unfortunately, due to a schedule conflict on my side, I am no longer chairing the initial plenary discussion on cyber and social media as I noted earlier. I’ll still be in DC that week, but I won’t be at InfoWarCon until the last day.

  • Events,  Public Diplomacy,  Social Media

    Event by BBG/GWU: Iran’s Blogosphere and Grassroots Voices: Risks and Rewards of Engagement (Updated)

    Iran’s Blogosphere and Grassroots Voices: Risks and Rewards of Engagement Date: Monday, April 12, 2010 Time: 9:00a – 12:30p. Location: George Washington University, Jack Morton Auditorium, 805 21st St NW, Washington, DC 20052  Co-sponsors: Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) & Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication (lPDGC), George Washington University (GWU). RSVP by e-mail to ipdgcbbgiran@gmail.com, or by phone to the BBG Office of Public Affairs at 202-203-4400. Please contribute your thoughts, before and during the conference, to our global online discussion: http://www.gwu.edu/~ipdgc/events/iran-blog/index.cfm (homepage) http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Irans-Blogosphere-and-Grassroots-Voices-Risks-and-Rewards-of-Engagement/108225475873166?ref=ts (Facebook) www.twitter.com/ipdgc (Twitter) The agenda is below.