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US takes its diplomacy digital

page: 1

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posted on Mar, 8 2013 @ 03:36 AM
(Mods, please place elsewhere if this isn't the right forum)

This seemed the type of story I just had to come back over here and share with everyone. I'm trying to contribute more in content along with comments I add to other threads, but I have to say this one would have gotten my attention regardless.

I applaud Obama's charge and very strong effort to take the entire Government digital. That's important to note up front. It's ironic that often it makes finding negative data on how it's all being run today much easier, but the consolidation and centralizing of federal online resources has been dramatic and much appreciated.

However, all that good stuff is stuff I go out to use or I go out to touch. It's not quite as inviting to think they're real busy reaching out to touch everyone else.

WASHINGTON — When John Kerry took to Twitter on his first day as US secretary of state, he joined an army of diplomats using social media to reach out and connect directly with people around the world.

^^ No problem so far ... and I don't mind the State Department being more 'user friendly'. It's the least they can do as they are the first point in foreign immigration contact and more legal immigrants is always good (among the many things they do).

There are now more than 300 Twitter accounts with some three million followers, over 400 Facebook pages with close to 20 million fans, and 185 YouTube channels as well as Flickr, Google+ and Instagram links run by the State Department, its embassies, staff and diplomats.

Most of the embassy Facebook pages are written both in English and the local language, and the official Twitter accounts are in 11 languages including Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Hindi, Russian and Turkish.

^^ Well, call me an ATS member or something but I'm starting to grow curious about just what all this outreach is reaching out with.

Some $100 million has been earmarked by Congress since 2008 for training and developing technology to ensure "the openness of the Internet as a platform for citizens around the world, particularly in repressive countries," said Katharine Kendrick, Internet freedom team member with the department's Bureau Of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.

^^ Danger! Danger! I do believe I recall someone making a comment about this once. Yes indeed...

Wise words, in my humble opinion. Call me paranoid, but I don't entirely trust the State Department's motives automatically. Perhaps it's all that I "heard" about in those Cable leaks for the way those folks tend to think and operate.

Errrr.. No, I'm thinking. 100 Million Dollars to just go and 'hook people up' isn't necessarily the most productive use of that money. I was just looking at something earlier that showed the value of 100 Million Dollars, as a matter of fact:

It takes 3500 Americans 1 year of work to make $100 Million dollars. The 155 million Americans who worked with earnings in 2005 on average made $28,567 / year.

So, I do want to ask. Do all our inner city kids have internet? Not theoretical access now, but actual internet to use? After all, $100 million could go a distance for making that happen for American people in bad circumstances and in legitimate need. I'll just bet there is no major shortage of that right at the moment.

Which 3,500 Americans should we count the vote of to have paid this one? This stuff adds up ..and before you know it, we're trillions in debt and the world figures we push into everyone's business too much for the trouble.


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