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British embassy life revealed as UK diplomats take to the blogosphere

by Tom 20/11/2009 12:33:00

British embassy

British embassy officials have
taken toblogging about their
experiences

In an interesting article from The Guardian today, the secret life of British High Commission workers across the world was revealed to be... well, not so secret after all.

Many of them have taken to writing candid blogs about their experiences, ranging from the British embassy official in Kiev writing about a "troupe of Ukrainian folk dancers performing outside the embassy" in protest at their UK visa refusal to the governor of the Cayman Islands uploading pictures of a group of green iguanas that had taken residency on the embassy's roof.

They're described as 'blogger ambassadors', with over 30 diplomats now writing blogs after the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provided them with the means to share their experiences with the web.

Leigh Turner, the recently appointed ambassador in the British embassy in Kiev commented: "For the last 20 or 30 years there's been public diplomacy. The aim is to influence the opinion in the country you are in. You can do it through making speeches, giving newspaper interviews and doing British Council stuff. Writing a blog is just a natural extension of that. It's also fun."

It's a far cry from the days when an ambassador's only means of communication was the humble telegram, but it's certainly encouraging to see British diplomacy evolve with the digital age.

- Tom Blackett is Online Editor for the UK Visa Bureau

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