#AskState: Spokesperson Nuland Holds Twitter Briefing

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
January 7, 2012

More:January 2012 Designated "21st Century Statecraft Month"

Today, State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland held a Twitter briefing, answering questions selected from the U.S. Department of State's 10 official Twitter feeds. Spokesperson Nuland will answer questions submitted via Twitter each Friday during the month of January. Questions can be submitted using the hashtag, #AskState.

Throughout the month of January, U.S. officials in Washington, D.C. and at U.S. Missions abroad will host digital engagements across multiple social media platforms on a wide array of issues to directly connect with the public on foreign policy issues that matter to them. You can find additional information about next week's engagements here.

Comments

Comments

James V.
|
Georgia
January 7, 2012

James V. in Georgia (U.S.A.) writes:

Well done! This is a great format to address and answer questions concerning current events and foreign policy.

palgye
|
South Korea
January 9, 2012

Palgye in South Korea writes:

#AskState

Chancellor Angela Merkel

is your side?

"http://www.koreaherald.com/national/Detail.jsp?newsMLId=20120105000595"

i want to join President election movement. in us

daily71
January 7, 2012

W.W. writes:

Democracy or waste of time ?

Maureen
|
Massachusetts, USA
January 8, 2012

Maureen in Massachusetts writes:

This was an engaging set of questions and answers. The subject of “electronic curtains” in particular shows the necessity of 21 Century Statecraft in foreign policy. Communication challenges may touch on international human rights issues for citizens so this is something to pay close attention to.

Spokesperson Nuland:

“At the same time, we're also developing and distributing new technologies- more than 20 of them-to empower activists around the globe to access uncensored content on the internet and to communicate with each other and to tell their stories. And to date, we've funded the training of more than 7,500 activists around the world in these programs.”

To say that this briefing was not of the essence in democracy just look to the question (Iran) on the Straights of Hormuz under international law being considered as international waters and the U.S. Navy... Just one day later the US Navy rescues 13 Iranian seamen from pirates. It was the right thing to do and some old fashioned traditional diplomacy doorways may open. Perhaps some twitter questions will follow.

palgye
|
South Korea
January 9, 2012

Palgye in South Korea writes:

"There,

Have a

Abibilty, selling weapons , for maintain Jobs.

also, need making ability, needing.
buying power from abroad, 12+1 countries..."

it`s a old story....

PS
i want try to election but have not money.
Attempt, maybe fail but i want to try....

and

To Iran and Italia,
have a equal percentage in there?
Come true,
UK do more for recovery.

more thinking, election win is aim, or inner circle battle and revengis is aim....

i`m tire saying that in this kind of saying.

mean39
January 8, 2012

W.W. writes:

FP : Is there anything scheduled to stop European Financial Sovietism Regime whcih is currently raping any form of liberty equality among european population?

reasearch25
January 9, 2012

W.W. writes:

European Austerity Plan news :

#bilderberg goldman&sachs; #monti did it right

#EAP : someone made some phone calls here... don't know who to thank but Italian measure to solve crisis are kinda perfect

Kept writing and preaching them for more then 3 years...

Is dos going to help europeans to evolute establishing an eu federal bureau of investigation and i.c.e. that actually work to avoid this massive crisis for the future ?

art48
January 9, 2012

W.W. writes:

@ maureen in mississipi

you right I placed lot of question via twitter about jack sparrow

from if the iranians screamed huckbar allah when they saw the americans rescuing them to wonder what there was in the iranian vassel, gold, nuclear waste, bin laden body and i was scared that ahmadinejad was gonna be shootin some long range missle to somalia and the horn of africa already struggling by famine to answer the pirates attack to his vassel...

of course no answer from statedept

Maureen
|
Massachusetts, USA
January 9, 2012

Maureen in Massachusetts writes:

I may be grasping at straws here but what if we were to make a very public gesture on piracy initiatives to include Iran at the table (through the Swiss government and Turkey) and in return the release of our former Marine and dual citizen? This in conjunction with the US Navy's rescue of Iranian seamen could be perceived as something to work with keeping in mind the two-track policy Spokesperson Nuland mentioned. The Iranian government would benefit from the positive publicity.

SIMBA C.
|
South Africa
January 12, 2012

Chitando S. in South Africa writes:

Shouldn't America's policy on "Aid to Africa" change to "Investment in Africa"? Many economists like Dambisa Moyo and Stiglitz have argued that Aid doesn't do much more than sustain hopeless dependence on Aid. Both American's and Africans would benefit from investment in projects, regardless of how small, in Africa. Africans will work and pay their way in the World in a sustainable manner instead of sitting back and receiving handouts, on the other hand America could earn dividends from their investments.

Ngale
|
Congo, Democratic Republic of the
January 13, 2012

Ngale in the Democratic Republic of the Congo writes:

I watched online when senator Coons and the Foreign sub-committee on african affairs were making proposal whether the congolese Justice Supreme Court (supposed to analyse a request raised from opposition political parties) would have done the right thing. I mean taking in consideration fraud allegations and a possibility to cancel the previous term and organise a second term (between the last presidential candidate) monitored and financed by the International Community. At that time, someone even recommended to the US to send a strong diplomatic correspondance to warn Congolese authority on the impact of a crisis in the area. So now my point is: after the broadcasting of a documentary (Crisis in the Congo, uncover the truth) responsibilizing the Cliton Administration on the origin of the actual crisis, "Can we build something strong on a weak basis?" The Congo has many challenges to overcome and need now more friend states than vultures.. Now that the right thing has not been done, what is the position of the United States? What's kind of diplamacy will they run regarding the late election result and the CENCO press conference?

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
January 16, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

( from the archived entry "Welcome to Dipnote")

Sean McCormack from the U.S. State Department writes:

I appreciate your comments and encourage you to keep them coming. How the blog develops over time and how useful it becomes as a tool for dialogue will depend in part on you, the readers. We will do our part in opening that window, and I would encourage you to give us feedback on which issues and areas you want to explore. Your comments, ideas, and feedback will also help me generate participation by State Department employees as they start to become comfortable with a new means of conversing with the public. I am pleased thus far with the response internally to our new venture, but there's more work to be done so that blogging becomes part of daily State Department life.

Posted on Thu Sep 27, 2007

Dan in Washington, DC writes:

@ Kevin (Army Officer) in California -- thanks very much for your service to the United States and the US Army.

I work at the U.S. Department of State in a management role. I wanted to get back to you re your comments, although I must add that I'm doing this on my own as a private blogger and not in official, public spokesperson role for the Department.

---end excerpt of post---

Posted on Tue Oct 02, 2007

---

Dipnote Blogger Frederick Jones writes:

@ Corine in Washington -- As a working journalist, your best sources for information from the State Department are the State Department Press Office and briefings by State Department Spokesman McCormack or Deputy Spokesman Casey. This is where you should acquire official information from the Department. The ideas expressed on this blog are not official comments from the Department and are attributable only to the author.

Posted on Wed Oct 03, 2007

---

There's a point to all this which will be revealed as relevent to twitter briefings if folks will bear with me for a few additional posts...(to be cont.)

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
January 16, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Cont.. (from the archives of Dipnote)

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Dipnote Bloggers & PJ Crowley, Assistant Sec. of State for Public Affairs,

This marks the first time the Dipnote blog has opened up the daily press briefing for public comment/and or follow-up questions in regards to the interaction between the press corps and government officials.

This is both revolutionary and evolutionary in the sense that a more interactive democratic public diplomacy process has the potential for being established on an ongoing daily basis.

I have long awaited such a development, and suggested such briefing format be included as "standard opperating procedure" in this blog's ability to create a "three way street" between the government, the press, and the public.

The results of which I think will offer greater understanding among all, and a healthy debate interactively between the respective roles this "triad" plays in our democratic processes.

Whatever issues come up, or are ongoing, it serves the public's understanding to apprise itself of the source of news stories written by the press, helps us better excercise our ability to hold the press and the government accountable for accuracy in this regard, and fosters both the press' understand and my goverenment's in the virtual real-time public reaction to deveoping situations on the world stage.

I am not one to suggest that PJ is to become master of a three-ring circus here,(chuckle) but I believe a good time may be had by all in this process.

If nothing else, we the people may inspire the press to ask good questions, and push for good answers to them through our follow up here on Dipnote.

A natural question in regards to Haiti at this point in time would be;

"Is there anything more that could have been done to alleviate suffering and disease outbreak in the aftermath of the earthquake?"

I think it is a question that both State and USAID are also naturally asking themselves in context to the QDDR's basic question of "How can we do better?"

This is not to imply that every effort was not made at the time, but posed,..accepting that there's always room for improvement and coordination in crisis situations with regards to the level of anticipation and preparedness in any critical undertaking requiring immediate response and ongoing followthrough.

Dipnote has been evolving from a "great experiment" Sean McCormack was inspired to push through to virtual reality, and it's become an essential institution at this point in my opinion, futhering our democratic traditions.

Therefore it is my hope that at this moment in time, I am witness to the evolution of those traditions in the launch of an ongoing process of the "Interactive State Dept. Daily Briefing"

Hope you'll take my question PJ, I think it to be an essential one to develop a comprehensive answer to.

Best regards,

EJ

Posted on Fri Jan 07, 2011

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
January 16, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

(Archived thread re-opened for comment upon request of a member of the public)

"http://blogs.state.gov/index.php/entries/state_department_social_media/"

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Sean, Conceptualize this --

Dipnote as a facet of the civilian response corps.

I don't mean in any formal sense, just that ideas are part of any response to issues involving the public.

I find a lot of relevance in what you are saying, and the following:

Secretary's Remarks: Remarks After Six-Party Informal Ministerial
Tue, 23 Jul 2008 23:00:00 -0500

(excerpt)

SECRETARY RICE: About -- of everybody meeting their obligations, but I don't want to go, you know, into detail about what everybody said, just to say there weren't any surprises. But it wasn't -- you know, it wasn't a standoff with people just stating their positions. I think we had probably three or four rounds of comments. So, you know, the initial -- very often, these things, the initial thing is people read a statement. But a couple of people didn't and then there were several -- it was interactive. It wasn't just people making statements, which is good.

--end--

And getting beyond statements is essential to any solution.

Institutionally, the desire for stable and effective mechanisms creates the slowness of an institution to keep up with change, or adapt to it to a certain extent. Folks get used to doing things a certain way...and get comfortable to the extent that changes are resisted on occasion.

Change is just a process of keeping what works and discarding that which no longer meets the need. Like getting rid of all those Wang computers a few years ago.

State's in a process both of rebuilding its own infrastructure and it's manpower capacity which lends a unique opportunity to really get creative in adapting to the 21st century. Including new models for the mechanisms that are in need of an upgrade.

Which is why there's a hundred folks manning the Iran Desk, instead of two.

As one of the public observing this, I think State is embracing change and adapting to it pretty well on a lot of levels.

Posted on Thu Jul 24, 2008

Department Spokesman Sean McCormack writes:

Heath has started a good conversation about the blog and where we take it from here. I have the feeling that we can do a lot more with it to make it a two-way communication. At the moment, we actually talk to one another, but those episodes come in fits and starts. So we will look for ways to make using this blog a more interactive experience. I have a few ideas that involve the blog, YouTube, and new technological capabilities in the State Department briefing room, which might push us at least one step closer to having the conversation I talked about in the first post on DipNote.

Many of you raise an important question about the ability to influence large organizations, in this the case the State Department, through social media. Of course, there are a variety of ways this happens every day on sites not related to the government. We are different because of the relatively closed nature of the policy-making process (this applies across different administrations) so we acknowledge our limits up front. What that does not mean, however, is that you or we should accept those limits as immutable. One way in which I hope this blog evolves to involve you more is in bringing to our attention events (breaking or slowly unfolding). When we receive such information, it is my hope that we can internalize, analyze, and, when possible, act on the information. We are a ways from that model now, but over time culture changes. When I refer to culture in this case, I mean the State Department. It is an inherently conservative (and by that I mean slow to accept and implement change) culture. In less than a year, though, I see change with more posters coming forward to us with material they want to share with you.

I will work with you on the flip side of the equation, in which your feedback or suggestions make their way in to our decision-making processes. I'm reading a great book now, Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies. While the book is directed at use of social technologies in business, I can see some parallels on which we can draw, especially in modifying internal processes.

Finally, I would also love for you to share your worlds, whether it is daily life or reporting on the unusual, tragic, or inspiring. Maybe those things are one in the same. Whatever the case, I look forward to talking with you via DipNote.

Posted on Tue Jul 22, 2008

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
January 16, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

( from the Archived thread "Welcome back to Dipnote)

Eric in New Mexico writes:

To Acting Secretary Robert Wood, Dipnote Editors and Staff:

Dipnote used to post news items of the day, but dropped them I think because they didn't recieve a whole lot of public comment.

Dipnote has the "Question of the Week", an inside look at travel and ceremony, special events like International Woman's Day, specialized topic areas like diplomatic security, and specific issue related posts on areas of conflict globally.

But what's lacking on Dipnote is a general forum for current events where Dipnote gets married to "Briefing 2.0" by placing the State Dept.s daily briefing up on site for public followup.

Give you an example here Robert....in the brief of the 11th, a fellow with blond hair (I didn't get his name)was following up on a question of verification (North Korea) and your answer to him left me wanting to ask specificly whether the 5 parties had agreed on the exact nature of the protocols verification must look like to be effective, and does North Korea as the 6th party understand that in order to be true to its word, it must follow the outlined steps to the letter of the 5 party's understanding and intent, which North Korea signed onto as well?

See I'm not sure everyone is on the same page with this given the "war talk".

Anyway, just a thought on how to make this a better blog...

Best,

EJ

DipNote Blogger Luke Forgerson writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico -- Thank you for your comment. We are currently considering ways to make DipNote more interactive. We are constantly seeking to improve DipNote and will take your suggestions into consideration. We are glad to count you among our readers.

Posted on Thu Mar 12, 2009
---

(And an unrealated Q&A from the same topic thread)

Mike in Virginia writes:

What is the average waiting period for a secret security clearance?

DipNote Blogger Luke Forgerson writes:

@ Mike in Virginia -- Civil Service positions in the U.S. Department of State require at least a secret security clearance. Investigations usually take two to four months.

For those applying to the Foreign Service, candidates who pass the oral assessment must apply for the security clearance required for appointment to the Foreign Service.

You can read more about becoming a Foreign Service Officer and the Civil Service selection process at careers.state.gov.

Posted on Tue Apr 07, 2009

---

@ Luke Forgerson, Here's some perspective...

Some sixty-five years ago we faced a lot of challenges, and I think of my granddad's work with Oppenheimer. Back then we were trying to end a war different than any war prior to it, and I think this brief note he wrote back in WW2 speaks volumes about the outspoken "can do" attitude of those that helped win it.

--------------------

To: Sidney Newberger
From: Eric R. Jette

Subj: Security Clearances

I have recently learned that the average time for security clearances
on a large number of cases was 63 days. This is the gestation period
for a dog. Do you suppose that you might get it down to a rabbit?

E.R. Jette

----------------------

An impatient patriot? Aye, he knew what the stakes were.

Thank you for listening....We the people must ask the hard questions and provide perspective to those with the burden of responsibility for the future of mankind, having a vested interest in the matter.
Mine is but one small voice in the global constituancy trying to help others find their's.
Although...(chuckle).....I have been known on occasion to thoughtfully mangle the English language in the process...perhaps it's simply a genetic trait.

-Excerpted from "A Citizen's NIE" I sent to folks in this gov. several years ago before Dipnote was even a gleam in Sean's McCormack's eye and I have a hard question or two left in the gas tank, let's see if I can get the thought home and park in someone @ State's garage bein' that my job as a citizen is trying to inspire folks to think...no offense intended.

1) Why arn't folks going to celebrate social media and have twitter briefings M-F all year round? Or is Ms Nuland just testing the waters to gauge the interest?

2) 144 character limit on questions? Oh, Please! How can one provide premis or context to questions adequately? Submit via Dipnote too! We have 5000 to work with. And I'll use more than that for sure!...(chuckle)...when outlining a concept for consideration.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
January 16, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

(from the archives)

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

@ Eric, if anyone listened to you, you would not be posting here.

(end excerpt)

John in Greece writes:

@ Zharkov

(excerpt)

P.S.: I listen to him (I mean Eric)! and I love his posts. I suppose many other visitors too. Now, with your permission, can he keep on posting here Z? or he should write to Pravda... like you?

Posted on Fri Jul 25, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Zharkov

(Excerpt)

I've lost track of how many people have told you this on many topic threads on this blog, and part of getting yourself listened to is being able to listen to others and have a discussion based on reality. Not just putting out position papers.

Which reminds me...thanks! You have just provided example for how relevent Ms. Rice's quote actually is.

When an Ambassador tells me "You've got everyone thinking about this." on a topic thread he started on Dipnote some time ago, then I think it's gone a wee bit beyond "listening".

Common sense that cannot be rationally ingnored....at your service.

Posted on Fri Jul 25, 2008

---

"http://blogs.state.gov/index.php/entries/state_department_social_media/"

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Once upon a time I was in doubt as Zharkov is regarding if anything I had to say to my gov. would generate a human response.

That problem was solved with one phone call.

A little "old school" perhaps, but the internet can't replace person to person contact when you want results.

If you email the Whitehouse, you'll get the eqivilent of a read reciept, but they get so much mail it will be six weeks before anyone reads it...according to the switchboard opperator I talked to there late on a Friday before Cristmas 2005. As she put it, the Whitehouse was "shut down" for the holiday and there wasn't anyone around to take my call. So she swiched me over to DoS and I spoke with a desk officer there.

I'd called about an imminent execution by stoning that the Iranian Republic was about to impose on a few women, I asked him for his email address and sent him the Amnesty Int. article with the details, along with a letter I'd tried to get to the Whitehouse in time (they had 5 days until the sentence was carried out).

So, about a half hour later after I sent the article, I got this message in reply:

"This information has been sent through immediately to the Iran Security Desk for further action."

One might think that our government knows all and sees all, and that citizen imput is irrelevent to them.

Not the case. An informed public actually helps inform the gov. , and Layla M's (one of the women above) case was included in the annual country human rights report (2006).

International pressure halted the execution and this citizen got the results I was looking for from a responsive institution of government.

Safe to say that unless you try, you'll never know just how human a response you might get from public servants.

Posted on Tue Jul 22, 2008

Question #2

What will it take to revive the dialoge between folks@State posting topic threads on this blog and members of the public?

Well it starts with being willing to have a conversation #1, then after posting a "position paper" as a topic thread folks@ State are going to have to re-engage with the public as comments, queries, and ideas flow into the moderator's hands for posting #2, and #3 Folks on all sides of the discussion have to take the time to sustain a robust dialoge that allows that "free flow of ideas" that can produce results that help generate better understanding of, by, and for both policy makers and the public to the better implementation and development of policy for the good of all concerned.

I don't know how folks expect to further 21st social media and statecraft any other way...and there's a gestational period to consider in the birth of timely ideas in context with current events.

If folks arn't listening, why would I post here?

EJ

Maureen
|
Massachusetts, USA
January 17, 2012

Maureen in Massachusetts writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico

Salut Eric-let the engagements begin!

This forum can lead to some great discussions, one on one. For example, the other night I was speaking with a person in the political arena about social media. We then moved to Iran discussions then to food security issues and how that is a worrisome subject with regard to national security.

All the while I could feel “Statecraft” in the air- well maybe just me.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
January 18, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Maureen in Mass.,

Were you interviewing this "person in the political arena" ?

Just curious if you are a member of the press doing your job, or were you just friends making conversation over dinner or something?

And what conclusions did the two of you reach in agreement?

Cheers! (clink of glass on glass)

The challenge to engage with us has been made, but will it be well met by folks @ state?

We'll see soon enough.

In my opinion Twitter can in 144 characters help inform, but if not augmented by a blog with the capacity for full-blown thoughts in 5000 character segments-risks social media @ State being reduced to "sound-bite diplomacy" self limiting in scope, as well as in results.

EJ

John P.
|
Greece
January 18, 2012

John P. in Greece writes:

@ Maureen in Massachusetts

Salut Maureen -let the engagements begin, before the marriage!

I think that my friend Eric says something special, most people can’t see…

That’s why you love him… He is unique!

...and TRUE!

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
January 18, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Cheers John,

I gotta wonder sometimes if seeking "behavior change" @ State will be about as succesful as engaging with Iran, but I try to remain optimisic that folks @ State will once again join our conversation, if only to refute the premis...(chuckle).

Now I'd really like to know what you think about the solution Oppie-1 posed (click on "all comments" after the article), and maybe Maureen will invite her "politico" friend to join us for a chat along with folks @ State and see if the "art of the possible" involves a creative approach to "regime replacement therapy".

'http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/iran-and-the-us-need-a-way-to-com...'

If one were to google "regime replacement therapy" in quotes, using all the search engines available, it'll lead to some interesting discussions and one might begin to understand why I believe "regime change" is an out of date, inadequate terminology the press uses to define the nature of US foreign policy when the President calls for an ethical infant to step aside from power, and let the people decide their future.

When you say "...most people can’t see…"

Folks @ state arn't the only audience I attempt to engage with...in an attempt to change the nature of the conversation folks a willing or unwilling to have, as the case may be.

Best,

EJ

Maureen
|
Massachusetts, USA
January 18, 2012

Maureen in Massachusetts writes:

@John in Greece

@Eric in New Mexico

It is a pleasure to read your comments and the play with words keeps us “engaged” and often laughing which is approproe to the subject of diplomacy.

What I appreciate with Eric's writing is often that long thought process that requires some research. He want's to get stuff done and that is commendable. It would be hard to “twitter” his writings.

Question -do you both get the sense that the blog is navigating away from itself in some respects to different social media sites? On one hand this is a good teaching tool for those interested but on the other hand it could possibly self extinguish. This might be more about the audience.

In answer to your question Eric, I'm not a member of the press. This was an event type gathering and it is invigorating to exchange ideas with people who have some knowledge of the work being done at the Dept. of State.

John
|
Canada
January 18, 2012

John in Canada writes:

@ Eric

Couldn't agree more - twitter has its place but is a small tool.

This site is generous with thought space.

Telephones are not what they used to be - automation, answering machines (hate these things - I refuse to leave messages) and then somethings are not for telephone calls either.

Person to person is the Gold standard but is not always feasible.

Eric you want to share your ideas on Iran - take them to the other half of the problem.

'http://www.leader.ir/langs/en/index.php?p=letter'

Seems the supreme leader of Iran is using the internet in a more interactive way than some western govs. (Laugh)

Why not share your thoughts direct with him - you never know - he may just listen.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
January 19, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Maureen,

It's always been my opinion that regardless of what social media platform State wants to employ in their "engagement" with the public, that Dipnote is the logical clearing house for all of them to funnel into, whereas the only limitations a blog has on the persuit of a "free flow of ideas" is in the capacity of those that maintain the blog to handle the "traffic" coming and going.

"Question -do you both get the sense that the blog is navigating away from itself in some respects to different social media sites? On one hand this is a good teaching tool for those interested but on the other hand it could possibly self extinguish. This might be more about the audience."

Interesting question, and just for grins and giggles maybe the three of us ( based on an experiment John once tried in another context) we could try a little role-playing game where the three of us had just been contracted by State to serve as Dipnote's "Civilian review board" to come up with the answers to this and other issues that affect State's effective usage of social media, wheras no complaint comes sans solutions...(chuckle).

Now until Ms. Nuland decides to officiate these proceedings, nothing we say or opine herein can or will be used for or against us, so onward through the fog, and let the games begin!

I'll start with the last point first Re: "This might be more about the audience."

When Shakespere said, "All the world's a stage, and all the people players." he forgot to mention that all the world's the audience as well. But he may be forgiven since social media wasn't global in nature at the speed of light in intantaneous transmission in his day.

2) Dipnote is like a muscle, if the folks @ State don't allow the blog to live up to its potential, then it will atrophe for lack of usage by both themselvers and the public.

Sustainability is in the healthy dialoge, but it is up to them to do their part, if they build it, we will come and engage with them in vested self interest...(as in asking the hard questions that lead to a sustainable future in general I spoke of initially)

3) To "Navigate" implies one has a sense of direction, and as with the "twitter briefing" I get the sense folks are still experimenting with social media's potential in general, which isn't a bad thing, but runs the risk of failing to create a center of gravity that will be condcive to pooling thoughts, concepts and ideas into manifest reality of future policy based upon public imput-melded with "the art of the possible" in one central location.

Dipnote has the potential to become the greatest public think tank of the 21st century, if folks @ State accept the hypothetical of its potential medium as its prime vehical for creative interactive thinking, but only if folks @ State can step out of their present comfort zone of not dealing with hypotheticals and embrace the great "what if?" where it involves the grave issues before us.

ie: 27 months to build the first a-bombs with only theories to go on, how can folks @ State assure the public Iran doesn't have them by now?

EJ

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
January 19, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ John in Canada,

If there is one thing about people that's a given, it's that they can only change themselves. You can try to understand them, change their circumstances, try to point the roads to peace, but in the end, they must want it for themselves knowing what the alternatives are. Bold steps and perhaps controversial ones are required; when a plan is not working, everything must be considered to find one that does.

I'm probably among a dozen or so people in the world still living who has held a piece of "trinitite" in my hands. This is the fused sand from the first atomic explosion, bubbled green glass, encased in leaded crystal, given to the department heads and leading scientists at Los Alamos at the end of WW2, including my granddad. The rest has been bulldozed underground at the site in White Sands. It is the most concrete example I can show any one of the risk of nuclear war, or the results of it. Any leader holding this potential future in hand, will have something to remember, and think about.

My point here John is that it will take more than words to convince the leaders of Iran that the path they tread leads over oblivion's cliff, and since that is best done face to face; unless my gov. is fully on board with the approach I'm willing to take, then I'd be wasting my time.

Thanks for the vote of confidence though.

EJ

John P.
|
Greece
January 19, 2012

John P. in Greece writes:

@ Maureen in Massachusetts

Your question is extremely interesting and thought-provoking!

QUOTE: Question -do you both get the sense that the blog is navigating away from itself in some respects to different social media sites? On one hand this is a good teaching tool for those interested but on the other hand it could possibly self-extinguish. This might be more about the audience. END OF QUOTE.

Well, I’ll speak for myself, looking forward at the same time to read what Eric has to say on this… He always offers great, spiritual ideas. And I think you raised a GREAT subject!

If I understand the question correctly, you probably mean that the use of multiple technologies (Twitter, RSS, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube etc.) can create a foggy mosaic of different platforms and technologies that could drive DipNote “Core-Central” site –the mama platform- into self-extinguish on the ground that ONE audience (readers) can become multiply different ones, obviously difficult to follow.

Tough question indeed!

First, let me say that I am not an expert…

A couple of months ago, I attempted to visit our favorite site (Dip) using a “smart” phone, just to see how it looks like through a mob (cell) view. At the beginning, I felt frustrated, because I could see the site, but not the comments; at least this is what happened to my attempt.

My first disappointment made me think: Now what? Is this good, that people can’t see the whole picture, or it’s good because they can at least see the posts?

After some thought, I decided that according to my opinion, it’s better to be able to view some of the material, instead of being totally blind.

And then I recalled what Sean (genius) McCormack had answered in a similar question years ago. In my words, I think he had said that “we work with all”!

I like this theory! We work with all platforms and technologies to achieve the GOAL!

And I think that this is the right strategy in today’s 0-1 digital world. If you cannot keep up with all the paths, you’ll never find the highway. It’s the paths that feed the highway and the highway which feeds the paths.
I remind you that I am not an expert, but new media/ social media & new media marketing is also not a science yet. So, all of us are researchers…

I will close my poor comment with this thought and I’m sure, Maureen, it will make you think more on your brilliant question:

Decades ago, we had to deal with a similar dilemma. Should I use a Mac or a PC?

If you ask me –the choice is personal- I prefer Macs, but I use a PC, because I can’t afford a Mac at Greece’s prices. All of which is a no problem, because today, I can perfectly communicate with you, who may have a Mac…

Decades ago, we had to deal with a similar dilemma when the question came on whether to build a site in a Mac or IBM code. During the “old school days” if you had a Mac, you could see only Mac designed web sites. If you had an IBM compatible you couldn’t see Mac sites and vice versa.

Today, browsers were developed and “everyone can work with everyone”!

Best Regards!

Maureen
|
Massachusetts, USA
January 20, 2012

Maureen in Massachusetts writes:

@Eric in New Mexico

Your articulate response provokes yet more questions. It might be worth mentioning that for me it is the entirety of the mission at the State Dept. and not just any one component which makes it an enormous resource and think tank.

@John P. in Greece

The question I asked does not do justice to your response. It is touching to see that people are so committed.

I have a dell therefore, I use a dell.

John P.
|
Greece
January 20, 2012

John P. in Greece writes:

@ Maureen in Massachusets

I think that you misunderstood me and now I want my $, as wisely Eric says... LOL)

Dell, Packard Bell, or Mac… who cares?

We can communicate… this is my “diper” comment.

This is DipNote!

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
January 21, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Maureen,

a) The State dept. twitter briefing represents a milestone in the fact that this is the first time the state dept spokesperson (assist, Sec. of Public Affairs) has devoted an entire on-the-record briefing to "taken" questions from the public.

(applause)

b) As Niel Young once put it, "It's better to burn out than rust." but if Ms. Nuland is willing to make this a regular M-F thing and take a question submitted on Dipnote as well as all the other various feeds, she won't have to burn out doing double duty between press and public briefings because she has deputies to spread the love. I think it goes without saying that in such a bold undertaking, the State dept is polishing it's "game" and the public won't ever let them rust on their policy laurels...(chuckle).

c) Re; "...not just any one component..."

You know how guys are, one-track mind and all, but if you want a vacation and come visit me here in "the city different" (or dysfunctional as the case may be), I'll buy lunch, show you around some, and
let you distract me.

(grin)

I'm getting tired of eating Ayatollahs for breakfast anyway...but very much hope POTUS makes news in the SOTU in announcing that there was a $32 Trillion bill included in the letter he sent to the "supreme leader" (or idiot, as definately is the case) because like John, I don't just want results, I want the money! Consider chanting "death to America" to be a billable offense.

---

From: The White House
To: EJ (email removed for posting)
Subject: Response to Your Message

January 13, 2012

Dear Friend:

Thank you for taking the time to share your views. I have heard from many Americans regarding Iran, and I appreciate your perspective.

I am committed to making my Administration the most open and transparent in history, and part of delivering on that promise is hearing from people like you. I take seriously your opinions and respect your point of view on this important foreign policy matter. Please know that your concerns will be on my mind in the days ahead.

Sincerely,

Barack Obama

---end---

Nice lady on Sen John Kerry's (D-Mass.) staff thought "That's a great idea!" and passed in on awhile back.

And Maureen, there's a reason the book "The Cure for Political Stupidity and/or How Not To Go To War With America (the idiot's guide) was written, concieved, and published on Dipnote- raw and unedited.

Better to bill them before bombing them as it puts another option of the President's desk.

(see my post to John in Greece prev. and follow the WaPo link to my commentary, if you like, your thoughts on this would be welcome too, as well as anyone@State wishing to opine off the record here)

Best,

EJ

.

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