As Australian digital diplomacy strives to catch up to rest of the world, these monthly links highlight the most creative and effective ways countries are leveraging the internet for foreign policy gain.

  • GIF diplomacy is taking off. Here the UK uses it to timeline Russia's actions in Crimea.
  • A Turkish think-tank has launched the world's first global digital diplomacy ranking, rating 210 Foreign Ministries and 1098 digital assets across 33 social networks. Australia is ranked 34th behind the usual (US, UK, Japan, Germany, India, Russia) and less usual (Ecuador, Bahrain, Lithuania, Cuba, Peru) suspects.
  • Following in the footsteps of the Pentagon, the US State Department is establishing an official presence in Silicon Valley.
  • How to create 'wikiplomacy' by fostering both human and digital networks.
  • The Israeli Government is hosting an international digital diplomacy conference (#DigDipIL). The head of social media for the Israeli Defence Force has Storifyed the event (and shared his two cents).
  • Recently, Australia's Ambassador to Israel (and one of only two Australian diplomats with an official blog) penned a great post on seizing digital opportunities.
  • The Turkish President has warned a diplomat over a selfie taken at the espionage trial of two journalists.
  • A very brave BuzzFeed interview with the UK's Ambassador to the Ukraine on what life is like for her, her partner and children in Kiev, and how she tackles homophobia (and deals with Twitter trolls) while promoting LGBTI rights in a country plagued by anti-gay sentiment and laws.
  • Which world leaders are the most successful on Instagram and YouTube?
  • It's not available for download yet but the Australian Government will be hoping young Indonesians take to Next Door Land, a new e-learning app. The mobile app project is a partnership between DFAT and the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture.
  • Maria Zakharova, the face and voice of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, explains how she 'wants to give the audience more' in an interview on the government's use of Periscope, Instagram, and the country's indigenous social networks (from 5.30 mins):