Category Archives: Blogging Excellence

The not so secret world of diplomacy

Martin Uden, the UK’s Ambassador to the Republic of Korea (South Korea to most of us), is a prolific FCO blogger.  Today he wrote about a meeting he had this morning.

I normally don’t say much about the many private meetings that I hold in Seoul, but this morning I called on Kim Dae-jung, former President of Korea and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.  I went to see him to thank him for his continued attention to the imprisonment of his fellow Peace Prize recipient, Aung San Suu Kyi, and specifically for his contribution to the website set up for ASSK’s 64th birthday.

We discussed Secretary-General Ban’s visit to Burma tomorrow and the sad fact the ASSK’s trial is to resume the same day.  It was encouraging to see the very clear focus that President Kim has on the plight of ASSK and his strong support for pro-democracy elements there.  Coming from a man who did so much to bring democracy to Korea, I found it truly heartening.
President Kim kindly agreed that I could mention our conversation and his staunch support for the people of Burma.

Martin has crammed an enormous amount of into two short paragraphs that probably took ten minutes or less to write.

  • He mets Heads of State as part of his job
  • The former President supports the plight of fellow Peace Prize Recipient, Aung San Suu Kyi
  • ASSK is 64
  • There is a website supporting her
  • Her trial is to resume tomorrow
  • It is all about promoting democracy

It’s well worth following the FCO blogs.  A little rough around some edges and not every post is of interest, but there are some gems.

Dear Olly – A masterpiece in Civic Leadership blogging

Kigali Genocide Memorial - Picture by Martin Leach
If anyone ever asks you why Civil Servants or politicians should blog, send them over to Martin Leach’s most recent post.

Martin is one of the DFID bloggers that we’ve been coaching.  He’s recently arrived in Kigali, Rwanda as Head of DFID Rwanda.  He’s just published a post called Dear Olly that drives home the human nature of the work that DFID in the developing world.

The post is really well written. It is personal. It links the UK with Rwanda.  It explains part of DFID’s important work in the country. It gives you hope that things are improving.

Please go read it, tell your colleagues to read it and tell your bosses to read it.  Then read some more of the DFID bloggers.  They are doing a fantastic job of telling the story of DFID’s work in a real and human way.

(Cross-posted from

US Embassy Blog to answer questions in public

The US Embassy have obviously read page 27 of the CivicSurf booklet headlined “Answer email with your blog.”

This evening they announced via Twitter that they’d set up a new blog to share information based on the emails and calls they receive. It’s really basic stuff. Someone emails or calls the embassy about something because they can’t find the information elsewhere. So publish that information on a Google friendly website AKA a blog. Next time people find without having to call or email. Everyone’s time is saved.

It’s great to see the US Embassy using Social Media tools this way. It’s not clear if this is a rogue experiment coming out of Grosvenor Square or an international thing. Either way it’s great to see.

Cllr James Cousins on blogging

Liz Azyan is conducting some research into Local Government and Social Media.  On her beautifully themed blog she has just posted an interview with Cllr James Cousins about his blog.  It is well worth a read.

It was interesteing to read that he had the self-discipline to run the blog unpublished for 6 weeks or so to build a few posts and to be sure in himself that he wanted to launch the blog.

Poetry in Posting

It’s not because she’s young.

It’s not that she’s seriously ill

It’s not that I don’t know what it is that’s made her helpless.

It’s not that the only reason that she is standing is because her husband is struggling to hold her up.

It’s not when she goes into a seizure and becomes incontinent.

It’s not me being covered in her urine as I help her husband lower her to the floor on the crowded landing.

It’s not the possibility that she could die from this illness or be permanently disabled.

It’s not the way she looks at me with utter terror in her eyes.

None of those things kept me awake tonight.

It’s the sound of her four young children behind me, wailing in fear as they realise that their mother isn’t playing a game.

Tom Reynolds blogs at Random Acts of Reality.  He writes authoritatively and authentically about life as an Emergency Medical Technician (Ambulance paramedic type).  Today’s post goes straight for the tear ducts.