internet diplomacy

Dressed in a nun’s habit, with the crowd on its feet and a tattooed rap-star judge fighting back tears, Sister Cristina belts out a hip-shaking rendition of “No One,” by Alicia Keys, that brings down the house at auditions for Italy’s equivalent of The Voice.  Her performance quickly goes viral on the Internet, topping 47 million views on YouTube. Now, gossip magazines have splashed her on their covers in her habit and featured her in articles.

It's such a great, simple idea: Young Brazilians want to learn English. Elderly Americans living in retirement homes just want someone to talk to. Why not connect them?  FCB Brazil did just that with its "Speaking Exchange" project for CNA language schools.

Celebrities and world leaders are drawing attention to the plight of 300 Nigerian school girls kidnapped a month ago by Nigerian terrorists by using the social media campaign #BringBackOurGirls.

The State Department’s social media presence vastly dwarfs that of other countries using internet-based tools for public diplomacy efforts, according to a new report by a Canadian think tank.

In the near future, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban may have their own top level domain names on the internet, which could spark innovative ways of promoting business and tourism in South Africa's main centres.

Canada now faces this danger. When it comes to using social media for diplomacy, Canada is lagging far behind its closest allies. In a report for the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute, released Thursday, I compare Canada’s digital diplomacy to that of the U.S. and U.K. The results are striking.

June 18, 2013

The only parts of the Palestinian territories with reliable mobile coverage are in major cities or Israeli settlements; high-speed mobile Internet is all but nonexistent. So here's an idea: Light up the West Bank with long-denied 3G wireless Internet connectivity and create an exception in the Arab League boycott of Israeli products for those that have Palestinian-controlled companies in their supply chains.

Packer dismissively discusses Google's work on developing smart parking meters for San Francisco, but doesn't mention that the company has a former State Department staffer running an internal think tank working on topics ranging from media coverage of the Mexican drug war to human trafficking.