The State Department is really serious about using the Net to get people to reach out to people in different countries. This is the "21st Century Statecraft" stuff, person-to-person public diplomacy. I figure it's our way of reminding the world that our government and people are serious about American values again.
The next step is the "Virtual Student Foreign Service" where students considering this form of public service can actually do something real.
The Virtual Student Foreign Service (VSFS), announced by Secretary Clinton at the 2009 New York University commencement speech,
is part of a growing effort by the State Department to harness
technology and a commitment to global service among young people to
facilitate new forms of diplomatic engagement.
Over the summer, the U.S. Department of State partnered 37 U.S.
diplomatic missions and associated projects with 44 current or former
interns who are now students attending universities throughout the
United States. The VSFS projects these diplomatic missions and students
will be working on in 2009-2010 include assisting in the development of
the Iraq National Museum website; helping to teach the English language
and American culture through social media outreach; environmental and
conservation curriculum planning; and researching and promoting gender
Students who are interested in following or contributing to these and other projects can join the Virtual Student Foreign Service Facebook community.