In recent years, Canada has lagged behind its neighbor to the south in digital presence and diplomacy. But as a recently published post on Canadian politics blog, iPolitics, pointed out, Canada has recently begun to make great strides towards digital diplomacy.
According to the article, the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) as “nearly doubled its social media presence in the past four months.” Bringing the total number of social media accounts to more than 200 is obviously a calculated move by the government. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird acknowledged that “the closed world of démarches, summits, and diplomatic dinner is no longer sufficient to project our values and interests.”
But can Canada learn to truly utilize their online presence to foster legitimate engagement and dialogue? The article points out that DFATD has not fully embraced the concept of conversation with people via their social networks, which is one of the main purposes of having an online presence to begin with.
Time will tell if Canada can grow into its newfound internet presence. Hopefully they learn to embrace the full potential of social networks.