Digital Diplomacy

Third blog post for my social media course, originally posted on the program's Wordpress blog

Lesson three of our social media course discussed the emergence of “Government 2.0” with the rise of social media. In this new branch of governance, citizens are exposed to the regular affairs that might have seemed hidden behind closed doors in the past. Before Twitter, we could always count on CPAC (or C-SPAN in the U.S.) to feature the mostly-bland goings-on inside parliamentary walls – you certainly had to dedicate a great deal of time and attention in order to remain abreast on issues during Question Period or in Committee. And unless there was a major development or dramatic event, there would be little  mention of parliamentary sessions  in the news or in the morning paper. Things have changed drastically since those dark days (never mind the days before television), thanks to social media, which allows citizens to monitor government leaders and events taking place away from the media spotlight.

The emerging transparency through social media is not only beneficial for keeping up with politics, but also with diplomacy and foreign relations. The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) has made it a priority to equip all Canadian missions abroad with Twitter accounts. This has proven to be beneficial in several ways – they offer travel information and advisories to Canadians (helpful to non-Canadians as well) and they provide accounts of Canada’s role in the countries they represent.
 · Jul 1 Spectacular! ’s Christ the Redeemer in Red & White to celebrate . Feliz dia do Canadá! 
Since I work for DFATD, I obviously see and experience the benefit of its exposure on social media but I'm interested in finding out about which other departments or government agencies that are useful to follow, and which should get crackin' on a social media plan.

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