This piece of news could not have better timing, following my previous one about the questions arising about Twitter use.
The State Department‘s Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy, Colleen Graffy is a Twitter user, and is microblogging during her three nation trip this week. Her posts are also linked to a Flickr account. Not many pictures so far, but hey!
Graffy (who once said that the government needed to move away from being so print focused and get into one-on-one media channels) appears to be quite comfortable with the format, with posts that include tinyURls, quick corrections and even complicated foreign names. (How many of you would be brave enough to squeeze a name like “Jolatonlistarhatio Hallgrimskirkju” into the 140-character tweet?)
Twitter is just one more way the State Dept has begun communicating using social media.
Unfortunately, the innovative use of social media comes pretty late for the Bush government. But at least it is laying the groundwork for the new government (whose insiders are anyway vastly more familiar with new media) and senior officials who will have to step up to the plate.
Let’s just hope Hillary (she who experimented with Yahoo answers, lest we forget) is practicing with some of these tools, considering that her campaign blog was given a “B” grade by Search Marketing Gurus that thought it to be a tad “uptight.”