DipNote Turns Five

Posted by Mike Hammer
September 25, 2012
Assistant Secretary Hammer Responds to Questions on Twitter

Five years ago tomorrow, the State Department launched DipNote -- the first-ever, U.S. Cabinet-level blog. On a day quite similar to this one, with the Public Affairs team fully immersed in the annual gathering of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, my predecessor Sean McCormack pledged that the blog would open a new window into the world of American diplomacy. Much has changed around the globe over the past five years, but one constant has been more and more people are getting their news and information through social media. So, we are committed to using our blog as a means to inform and engage the American people and those around the world.

This commitment is underscored by the fact that more than 1,000 men and women of the State Department and USAID have contributed their stories to the blog -- more than 4,700 total entries to date. We owe a debt of gratitude to all of our contributors, individuals who inspire us with the work they do around the world.

Our most well-known contributor has been Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Leading by example, she became the first Secretary of State to blog in office when she contributed an entry during her very first trip as Secretary of State. Secretary Clinton recognizes that we must complement traditional foreign policy tools with new instruments that leverage the networks, technologies, and demographics of our interconnected world. She calls this 21st Century Statecraft, and DipNote has played an important part in this effort.

As a communicator, I firmly believe we, as American diplomats, must present our policies effectively. DipNote has been an integral part of telling our narrative, whether highlighting the role of diplomacy and development, explaining America's Pacific Century, addressing the challenges and opportunities of the Arab Spring, promoting "jobs diplomacy," empowering women and girls around the world, or advancing the discussion on global food security. And, to communicate better and reach broader audiences, we have also increased our international media engagement, launched 10 foreign language Twitter accounts, and begun conducting press briefings in Spanish.

It's also important for us to listen. That's one of the reasons why we've increased our engagement on social media. As we branched out to social media, the DipNote community helped us apply lessons learned, and we're glad many of our DipNote readers now follow us on Facebook, Flickr, Google+, Tumblr, Twitter, and YouTube.

So, on this occasion, we also thank you, our dedicated and loyal readers. This milestone is as much about you, our readers, as it is about the blog. As we look to the next five years, please tell us what you would like to see on the blog. We very much look forward to your input. Before we look too far ahead, though, let's pause to celebrate: happy birthday, DipNote, and many more!



September 25, 2012

WAD in India writes:

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New Mexico, USA
September 25, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Happy birthday Dipnote bloggers!

September 25, 2012

W.W. writes:

Happy Birthday and thanks you for this great opportunity you delivered to the world.

Massachusetts, USA
September 25, 2012

Maureen in Massachusetts writes:

Happy 5th Birthday. I appreciate the variety of topics covered under the umbrella of diplomacy. I would also like to compliment the contributors for their dedication. The entries are thoughtful, creative, most informative and quite often humorous. The comments section is a whole 'nother animal so to speak but one that I look forward to reading equally.

Thank you for the great post Mike Hammer.

Virginia, USA
September 25, 2012

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

Wow its been 5 years already!!!! Congrats to DIPNOTE! Happy Birthday and 5 spanks! Good Job at the Department of State for offering people around the world to express ideas, thoughts and solutions to problems in this blog! Saying hello to all my Blogger buddies!!!


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