Americans’ attention rarely strays beyond domestic discontents these days, and when it does extend overseas it is most likely to settle on the endless war in Afghanistan or the challenging puzzle that is China.

Facebook is Zimbabwe’s top website. According to Google, Facebook was the most popular web search term among Zimbabweans in 2011, replacing “Zimbabwe,” which led the list in 2010 and 2009. The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation’s (ZBC) Power FM, despite its antiquated broadcasting studios, fills its popular music programming with trendy young DJs enthusiastically pushing listeners to follow them on the social networking site while quoting recent FB comments.

In a world where attention scarcity has displaced access as the new information problematic, how do you get your issue noticed? This is precisely the question that confronted Invisible Children, the international NGO that produced the viral online video “Kony 2012.” Since its release on March 5, it has been nothing short of a sensation: within two days YouTube tallied over 11 million viewings. That number tripled by the following afternoon and presently – four days after release – the number exceeds 52 million.

Sometimes effective public diplomacy can be conducted through a simple and unambiguous gesture. Such was the case when President Barack Obama recently commemorated the 50th anniversaries of 17 African nations’ independence at the White House. The gesture – or really a non-gesture – was to not invite a single African head of state to the event.

As the host of 2010 FIFA World Cup, South Africa aims to create a more compelling, dynamic brand image of the country. Its Consul General in Shanghai discusses the South African brand and its co-branding with the World Cup at the Expo.