Thanks for a Great Start in '07, Here's to '08

December 20, 2007
Heath Kern

A letter from Heath Kern, DipNote's
Editor-in-Chief

All of us at DipNote want to thank you for your participation and interest in our blog. Our successful launch was due in large part to the enthusiasm and interest of our readers, bloggers, and all of you whom have commented over the past three months.

Having given a series of talks over the past few weeks, I have been thrilled, and a little surprised, by the genuine disbelief that a cabinet level agency could have started a legitimate blog complete with criticism and contrary opining. Thanks to great leadership in the State Department's Bureau of Public Affairs and beyond, we were given a green light to start a dialogue with the general public. In turn, I have been consistently impressed with the thoughtful and erudite comments we have received on a wide variety of foreign policy issues.

Since launch, we have made a strong attempt to get you on-the-ground blogging and will continue to strive for more of this in 2008. Also in the new year, we plan on addressing design/redesign issues, upgrading the design and functionality of our photo gallery, launching a micro blogging effort via Twitter, and embarking on joint partnerships to provide further opportunities for an interactive user experience. And, of course, we will continue to provide as much behind the scenes content as possible.

Finally, without the participation of our State Department bloggers we would not have a blog. To all of you who have taken the time to write for us, many thanks. I am greatly appreciative for the consistency with which so many of you at the State Department have provided us with material.

We wish you all a happy holiday season and a festive new year. Be sure to take a look at our “Christmas in Kabul” entry to see how one of our officers is celebrating the season miles away from home. We look forward to welcoming you back to DipNote in ’08 and furthering the dialogue.

Heath Kern
Editor-in-Chief

Comments

Comments

Joe
|
Tennessee, USA
December 20, 2007

Joe in Tennessee writes:

It is a testament to the integrity of the Department Of State, which does afford all levels of discussion, views and consideration from all countries. The Department of State keeps talks to those who are our allies, newly developing, conflicting politically and even keeps an open door to views of our enemies when possible.

It's wonderful it takes some time and effort to view and interact with the Citizens views and comments, whom are represented by our leaders, as well as those of foreign citizens who do seem to have an interest in the Department of State page.

I hope the page and blog grows as well as democracy and freedom throughout the world, which is so wonderfully represented by the Department of State.

Dan
|
District Of Columbia, USA
December 21, 2007

Dan in Washington, DC writes:

To Heath, and to all the DipNote staff at State -- Thanks very much for breaking new ground with this informative, provocative State Department / public blog.

As a long time State employee, in my personal view this blog is an important step toward transforming American diplomacy so it becomes more engaged and effective in the information age. Such an initiative is vital since we are living in a world where all people and nations are increasingly interconnected. Its encouraging to see that the State Department has within its ranks inspired, innovative employees like Heath who are moving out to directly exchange ideas and engage people globally.

Moreover, this blog initiative advances the U.S.'s long-standing commitment to the free and open exchange of information and ideas. Such openness is absolutely essential to our nation's democracy and to our diplomacy. Famous Foreign Service Officer George Kennan perhaps best captured the spirit of openness and its importance to our nation's diplomatic endeavors when he wrote:

"Diplomacy, after all, is not a conspiracy. The best diplomacy is the one that involves the fewest, not the most, secrets -- the one that can be most frankly and freely exposed to the host government -- the success of our diplomacy will continue to depend on its inherent honesty and openness. Deprive us of that, and we are deprived of our strongest and most effective weapon."

Along the same lines, in a 2002 speech to newly hired State employees, former Secretary of State Colin Powell highlighted the vital role openness and personal engagement play in U.S. diplomacy:

"From the first day that you go out to your first mission, you are carrying the values of the American people. You are saying to the rest of the world that we are a nation driven by values, resting on values, a belief in democracy ... Every day, as you do your jobs, people will be watching you. And it isn't so much how efficiently you do your job as it is how well you communicate those values. Do you represent openness? Do you represent a caring hand and a caring eye and a caring heart and a caring mind? Do you say to people, "We Americans are a generous people, an open people? . . . Do you communicate by your actions, by your voice, by your way of going about your business, that openness that is so characteristic of the American way?"

DipNote does much to support a more open, engaged U.S. diplomacy and advance these imperative democratic ideals. All the best for continued success and progress in 2008!

Fuzzi
|
Italy
December 21, 2007

Fuzzi in Italy writes:

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Scott
|
United Kingdom
December 24, 2007

Scott in U.K. writes:

I think it's truly impressive that a government agency has managed to create a respectable blog which is very down-to-earth and and personal. Helps put the Department of State and it's staff in a much better light I think, and I'm sure others agree.

Have a merry Christmas and regards.

Mit
December 24, 2007

Mit writes:

How much does this cost?

John
|
Delaware, USA
December 24, 2007

John in Delaware writes:

Thank you for your and your team's notes and updates to this blog. Really like the image gallery.

Keep up the good work and continue with the blog!

John
|
Greece
December 30, 2007

John in Greece writes:

During this short period of its existence, "DipNote" proved -- once again among thousand other examples in the U.S. history -- how much pure, sincere, objective and positive is the American political thought.
Moreover, the "site," strongly underlined the American philosophy of Human Values and Freedom: the true belief in men’s right to debate on various subjects using words, but not terrorism. 
The integrity of our -- after only 3 months, we all, the "participants," consider it as "our" -- blog should go for an "Internet Pulitzer," as long as you have posted comments with a global view, far away from racism, religion traps or cheap propaganda. 

DipNote is a celebration of global Democracy and integrity.
I, personally, look forward to keep on reading "DipNotes" during 2008.

I hope the best to all 2008 "DipNoters" of the globe.

Murat
|
Turkey
December 28, 2007

Murat in Turkey writes:

It's indeed a very good idea and an admirable job to start and continue a blog like this by the State Department, especially because people from all over the world are allowed to express their opinions freely no matter how much they're critical of the US, the US foreign policy or American people. This is the true sign of a developed democracy and a culture of respect and tolerance. Regardless of the differences of opinions on many matters, this free and tolerant environment is enough to be thanked for.

Thank you for this blog, which I hope will continue its way in the years ahead, attracting much more people day by day to contribute.

I wish everybody a very happy new year together with family and friends!

Rachel
|
Texas, USA
December 28, 2007

Rachel in Texas writes:

Thanks for your hard work and perseverance in this effort!

It's been quite enlightening to be able to keep up with the various activities of the State Department and I've certainly enjoyed the experience!

Looking forward to keeping up with y'all in 2008!

Astral
|
Texas, USA
December 28, 2007

Astral in Texas writes:

I just noticed the blog and find it very informative and a very good use of funds. Thank you for the insightful look at the State Department and I look forward to reading more posts. Blog on!

John
|
Greece
December 28, 2007

John in Greece writes:

@ Mit -- I do not know how much this project costs.

However, I think, that it’s just for a fraction (of money) of what it would cost, if it had not happened at all.

This blog is "ideas." You can not make a P&L (Profit & Loss) concerning intelligent global thinking.

Gabe
|
Massachusetts, USA
January 3, 2008

Gabe in Massachusetts writes:

Good job supporting dictators all around the world folks. Thanks for taking money from my children (via my paycheck) to help kill folks in the mid-east. Do you really think we the people don't realize your dictator in Pakistan isn't a murderer? Way to be honest about those CIA/ISI connections as well...how is that war on drugs going? Any more of your airplanes filled with cocaine crash on the way to America recently? Don't think we don't know that Hillary is the biggest recipient of Blackwater money..your jobs will end when this empire gets downsized! Go Ron Paul ...the movement won't stop until we win back our freedom.

.

Latest Stories

Pages