US Embassy Jakarta: Facebook Fan Meet-Up is On

 Image from US Embassy Jakarta Facebook

US Embassy Jakarta is piloting its first-ever Facebook Fan meet-up at a Starbucks in downtown Jakarta next week, and then in three more cities in early July.   I am told that if successful, they will expand nationwide, and make it a regular  occurrence on different themes.  This is the embassy’s first-ever use of Foursquare, as they continue to innovate in using social media for public diplomacy.

I think this might be the first meet-up ever organized by a US mission, too. Post is using Foursquare for this meet-up, a mobile application that’s a cross between a friend-finder, a social city-guide, and a game that rewards users “for doing interesting things.” It lets you “check in” to a place when you’re there, tell friends where you are, and track the history of where you’ve been–and who you’ve been there with. Foursquare challenges users to explore their city in “new and fun ways by earning points, winning mayorships, and unlocking badges and specials for trying new places and revisiting old favorites.”
Read more here. Read more about Foursquare here.


New Blog: Super Mario Diplomacy

Ambassador Ryan Crocker once said, “I’ve always thought having a good life was about having a lot of options.” For Super Mario, the FS is just one of the options. Ranked first in the PD register, you will probably see this blogger as a new FSO in fall. Excerpts below:

“Err..What’s the Foreign Service?”

I’m kind of embarrassed to say this, but until last year, I had no idea what the Foreign Service was. I also thought that all diplomats were just appointed by the President.

It’s junior year and I see everyone around me franticly applying for jobs. With the bad news about the economy, soon to be college graduates were all too familiar with the statistics. Fewer job openings, lower salaries,. I mean, this is great news. After being billed a quarter of million dollars for an undergrad degree, suuure, why do I even need a job?

I already had my web development company but I didn’t want to continue that. I would’ve preferred to use my language skills and not be a computer geek for the rest of my life. So I started applying to any place that offered a great retirement package. Yes, I’m thinking about retirement. But then I heard about the Foreign Service. No idea what it was but the idea of a FREE test lured me.

On the Register

I’ve been waiting for this moment from the day I signed up to take the Foreign Service written exam. After going through a relatively quick security investigation and about a month in adjudications (I had an interesting red flag…), I was recently informed that I was added to the Public Diplomacy register.

That’s not all. I found out that out of 116 candidates, I was ranked first. “Shocked” isn’t enough to describe how I felt. Here I am, able to join the Foreign Service at the age of 21. I don’t mean that in a “wow look at me” type of way but instead “my life is moving way way way way too fast” type of way.
I have no idea what will come. All I know is that I feel extremely fortunate, lucky, grateful, and in disbelief. Until last year, I actually had no idea what the Foreign Service was. I thought I’d end up being a lawyer or running for political office somewhere. What’s that saying?

Want to make God laugh? Tell Him your plans.

Blogging & the Foreign Service

If the State Department was to let FS families take control of the steering wheel from time to time, more Americans would not only know of the Foreign Service’s existence, but they’d appreciate it more, as well. The FS blogs linked to the right provide personal connections, anecdotes, photos. A human touch is needed for people to understand why diplomacy is so critical. Even more bureaucracy, a closed message in the most open of media, in no way can help advance some of the goals of the State Dept.

Check out Super Mario Diplomacy here.