About the Author: Heath Kern Gibson is the Editor-in-Chief of DipNote.
Secretary Rice has called the Internet "…possibly one of the greatest tools for democratization and individual freedom that we've ever seen." We are seeing this when people blog from Cuba and Iran and other societies in which restrictions are placed upon their personal freedoms.
Last year, along with the creation of the Department's own YouTube Channel, this blog signified the Department's foray into social media. Since then, the Department has created a Flickr photos profile, began microblogging using Twitter, distributed audio and video podcasts to iTunes and others using ten RSS feeds, and last week, launched the Department's first official Facebook page. We encourage you to explore these products and let us know how we can better utilize them.
There have been many books and articles written on the relationship between traditional media and foreign policy, with the question often asked as to what degree the news media influences foreign policymakers and vice versa. What has not been discussed as much is the impact of social media on policymaking and the foreign affairs community.
It may not be quite clear yet as to what impact social media will have exactly on foreign policymaking. What is evident, though, is that foreign policy does not operate in a vacuum, and it must incorporate or respond to changes in communications. We are interested in your thoughts on how social media -- how these changes in communication -- will affect foreign policymaking in the years ahead.