When Does RT = Endorsement? A Qualitative Analysis for Digital Diplomacy

Retweeting is arguably one of the most powerful tools that Twitter users have at their disposal to leverage social influence online and enhance message dissemination. Some social media experts go as far as to claim that social standing on Twitter is actually defined not by the number of followers that users have, but rather by the frequency of retweets (RT) of their posts. While the claim may slightly overstate the case (after all, one does need followers in order to be able to get RTs), the key point they are seeking to make is engagement: follower counts may reflect inactive or passive consumers of information, but retweets show people who are actually engaging with each other’s messages.

How to Assess the Impact of Digital Diplomacy?

As any diplomat or embassy communication officer using social media knows by now, impact assessment is the “holy grail” of digital diplomacy. What type of information diplomats can best deliver through social media, how deep their message can reach into the target audience, and what forms of communication are most suitable for engaging the foreign public? In other words, how effective is social media for conducting public diplomacy online? In a paper I co-authored with Lu Jiang and published in Digital Diplomacy: Theory and Practice, we addressed this question by comparing the digital strategies pursued by the European Union’s Delegation and the embassies of Japan and the United States (U.S

Prof. Corneliu Bjola

I'm an Oxford scholar seeking to make sense of "unknown unknowns" in international diplomacy, a data viz. aficionado, and an unrepentant Big Lebowski fan ("lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta what-have-you's..").

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