Mashable commends US Embassy Jakarta for online strategy

Well, whaddaya know, the US Embassy in Jakarta as well as the US State Department has been singled out for commendation by Mashable.

Perhaps there are lessons for Deplu (whom Unspun recently learned have yet to discover the merits of giving email facilities to their staff) and Wisma Putra (the Malaysian equivalent who’s ruled by politicians who cannot communicate to fellow human beings face-to-face, let alone through social media channels).

Local diplomat and oft seen face in last year’s Pesta Blogger Bloghsops Tristam Perry gets quoted in the story as well so kudos all round.

clipped from

Jakarta Facebook Image
Seizing on this strategy, the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia has seen Facebook (Facebook) fan growth of jaw-dropping proportions — an increase from 36,000 to 120,000 in roughly one month. On a single Facebook post, the embassy often receives between 700 to 1,000 comments (that’s about 10 times more comments than The Huffington Post). This is especially astonishing when you consider that less than 10% of Indonesia’s population even uses Facebook.
So, what’s their winning strategy? Simple social games, where users can dress up Barack Obama in local garb and share the creation with friends, or suggest what Obama should eat during his next visit.
While the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia does delve into some culturally thorny issues, foreign diplomat Tristram Perry admits that Facebook is “not a good venue for hard policy topics.” Instead, he says “we make our Facebook fun. Jazz, technology, tourism — we have a fascinating history. There’s lots about it that people admire.”

The embassy saw huge traffic from an essay contest to win a trip to “Barack Obama’s America” (Hawaii and Chicago), where winners will blog about their tour for what will surely be a stadium’s worth of jealous peers back home.

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