DipNote's 2009 Year in Review

Posted by Luke Forgerson
December 28, 2009
2009 Year in Review

About the Author: Luke Forgerson serves as the DipNote blog Managing Editor.

As we approach the end of December, I find myself looking back at the year that was. I know it sounds cliché, but I can hardly believe how quickly this year has passed. I feel as if just yesterday, standing among the crowd on the National Mall, my friends and I observed President Obama take the oath of office, a historic moment watched by individuals around the world.

A few days later, I joined colleagues in greeting Hillary Rodham Clinton upon her arrival to the State Department in Washington, DC as the 67th U.S. Secretary of State. Secretary Clinton soon gathered employees together for a town hall meeting where she said, “There is no doubt in my mind that we have barely scratched the surface as to what we can use to communicate with people around the world, and in fact, to use them [new technologies] as tools ...to further our own work and to be smart about it….”

My colleagues and I were encouraged by the Secretary’s remarks and soon watched her words turned into action. Secretary Clinton invited Americans to text a $5 contribution that helped the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) provide assistance to people affected by the humanitarian crisis in Pakistan and announced U.S. support for Humari Awaz (“Our Voice”), the first free Pakistani mobile phone-based social network. She responded to questions from the public through Text the Secretary and participated in webcasts and web chats during her travels. She became the first U.S. Secretary of State to blog when she contributed an entry to DipNote and has focused on new media to amplify the Department’s efforts around the globe.

I am proud that DipNote is an essential ingredient of 21st century statecraft. More than ever, DipNote has become a means to educate, listen, learn and engage. DipNote passed 5 million page views in April and is on course to top 12 million by the end of the year. DipNote turned two years old in September and December ushered in a blog redesign, including the launch of three new channels on the blog: Afghanistan-Pakistan, Global Women’s Issues and Sudan.

DipNote could not have achieved what it has to date, and what we expect it to achieve in the future, without the ongoing support from State Department colleagues. Their work on a broad range of issues – from human rights to nonproliferation, climate change to food security– inspires me. I am always grateful to State Department colleagues who share their work with DipNote’s readers.

I also appreciate the support of our readers, who consistently impress me with their level of engagement in foreign affairs and their depth of contributions to DipNote’s dialogue. We could not have reached nearly 12 million page views without you, the DipNote community. I am eager to hear what entries you found most memorable over the last year and what you wish to see appear on DipNote in 2010.

On behalf of everyone at DipNote – Katie Dowd, David Helfenbein, Jeff Jackson, Tamika Johnson, Eric Jones, Daniel Schaub, and all of the DipNote bloggers – I wish you a joyous holiday season and all the best in the New Year.



Robert C.
Florida, USA
December 30, 2009

Robert in Florida writes:

Why so much apathy toward South America? Are they less human than the rest of the world? What is happenning today in Iran,will happen tommorow in South America this ignorant of a man called Chavez is steering his fellow mates toward a impossible Marxism. I know the U.S. does not stick its nose in other peoples business, but this threat can not be ignored like a cancer needs to be addressed soon. Just my two cents.thanks for hearing and Happy New Year.

New York, USA
December 30, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

On Dancer and Dipnote//////

T'was the wrap-up of Dipnote
for 2009
and all of the postings
were poignant and fine
The questions were shaped
with such craft and good care
We could take any angle to
comment and share.
So, keep noting Dips and the
High-points we seek
Have a Wonderful New Year;
and I'll e-you you next week!

Hilal K.
December 30, 2009

Hilal K. in Turkey writes:

I love DipNote and want to read it in 2010 also. Happy New Year... to all. Thanks for sharing...

Tuhar M.
December 30, 2009

Tuhar M. in India writes:

Its great but I don't know how to text the Secretary of State. Please help.

Ari C.
Pennsylvania, USA
December 30, 2009

Ari C. in Pennsylvania writes:

Dear Colleagues at the State Department et al,

Happy Holidays & Happy New Year 2010...

Many thanks for including us in DipNotes from the US State Department...

It's Brillant to give ideas and comments just for fun and maybe give ya'll a different paradigm two. At Yale they taught us sometimes the Silliest of ideas is just the Solution!

Mazal Tov & Best Regards to Sec. Dr. Clinton et al.

G-d Bless,

Dr. Ari Cole (R-PA)
Team Cole for 2016

Maryland, USA
December 31, 2009

Patrick in Maryland writes:

Hi Everybody, Happy Day Before New Years Eve.

I liked alot of the entries on Dipnote this year.

Hearing from our diplomats/representatives in differant countries on their daily work ,on behalf of the people of our country.

Learning about the work our State Department is doing to improve the lives of people around the world and here at home.

New technology that slows global warming.

What i would like to hear about ? New ideas, on communicating with, and helping people in our country and people around the world .

Also, more short movies on Hillarys visits to local and foriegn countries. :)

Anyways, "Have A Great New Year Everyone"!!!.


Alain D.
December 31, 2009

Alain D. in France writes:

Is this blog moderated ?

Susan C.
Florida, USA
December 31, 2009

Susan C. in Florida writes:

I found most all of the postings thought provoking and very informative this year. It is hard for me to believe that I have been reading, and commenting on, the dipnote blog for almost two years now. For me, the Question of the Week is always a favorite. I also like the diversity of the postings by the DoS contributors. It gives us an insiders view and I appreciate that they take the time to inform, and educate, all of us "out here." I really did not know how much the State Department does around the world. It is encouraging to realize how many VERY positive things are being done by our government, and by you all. Thank you Dipnote for keeping us informed and for doing such an outstanding job of it!

December 31, 2009

John in Greece writes:

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL NIGHT SHIFTS, and especially to this night’s DipNote moderator who is away from her/his home in order to be with US!

Happy new year to all DipNote "gang." I personally (I imagine among thousands of other visitors) thank you for this wonderful 2009 excellent web-hospitality. I’m sure that 2010 will be even more successful for this promising project.

Happy new (many) years to every governmental night shifts in Embassies around the globe, CIA, FBI, DEA, ATF, IRS, NSA, TSA, SECRET SERVICE and all the other posts that make us -not only U.S.A., but also the rest of the world- feel safer, even this "unique" night that everyone would like to be at home with his family.

Some people think that all these Services have a “US.gov” character. Well, according to my opinion, they consist a global security shield for our freedom: Planet’s freedom! America is Universal!

And of course, Happy new year to every people working anywhere in the States or worldwide: airports, hospitals, taxi drivers, Police officers, Fire Departments etc. (the list is really huge).

We Thank you very much night “shifters”!

Happy New 2010 to all DipNote readers from Athens/GR – here, we already have 2010!

Happy New Year @ America!

Virginia, USA
January 1, 2010

Donald in Virginia writes:

Happy New Years everyone!!!

Whether your a Soldier, Sailor, Marine, in Law Enforcement, or fighting for your country in Afghanistan, even the CIA is still apart of our American culture who just had losses in Afghanistan. Our prayers and thoughts go out to the families, because they are just as important, and critical to our Nations security. I have heard blame on failed intelligence, maybe it's about time to give the CIA some credit for being apart of the team who support the National Security of the United States of America to make our country safe. What they do is important and when they put their lives on the line, it should be noted.

"I still remember what God said, "Judge not yea be Judged" first to cast a stone."

Godbless and Peace OUT!

New Mexico, USA
January 1, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Here's wishing one and all a Happy New Year!

While back I mentioned that "even smart people groping about in the dark were bound to bump into something."

Now there's this thing called "smart design" and a whole new look to the blog...

Nah...it couldn't be...something I said?


I was getting kind of fond of the blackness...

Comentary from the deepest known universe, or at least a galaxy far, far away...where no blog has gone before...eh what?

Alas! the good 'ol days! We fare thee well!

OK then, let there be some light shed on these ideas...

Now that the comments don't read like Star Wars movie script...

I don't know about this...,could go snow-blind from excessivly white backgrounds...may take some getting used to...apparently this blog's future is so bright I gotta wear shades.

Be well, be happy, but above all be smart...that way you'll definately bump into something.

Nick G.
January 1, 2010

Nick G. in Belgium writes:

It is my first post at State Department blog.

I am actively engaged in the campaign for more transparent but secure borders; also advocating equal travel and international trade opportunity's for all citizens of this planet disregard if they are born in Beverly Hills or in the bad neighborhood of Mumbai or Mexico city; for better understanding between human beings which I believe the mobility will bring. Eventually I hope to contribute for a lot of interesting discussions here. Nevertheless please allow me to start with wishing everyone Happy New Year and Happy Hew Decade.

It was a hard year and hard decade. Lets hope that few good things will stay and all bad things will go away, as naive as it sounds... It is new years day after all.

Happy new year everyone!

January 1, 2010

John in Greece writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico

up to the point? do you like the new look of DipNote, or not?

(Happy new year Sir, I missed your posts. Started to wonder if my "Bro" is Ok. I am glad you are still writting... all of which means you are FINE!)



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