Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Youtube diplomacy

Thursday last week, I received an instant message from Ben Naimark-Rowse of Avaaz.org asking me if I could quickly-quickly pull out my webcam and quickly-quickly tape a question to the new young and flamboyant UK Foreign Secretary, David Miliband for his press conference that was just about to begin at Chatham House in London less than two hours later.

I thought it would take me only five minutes, so I said yes. But something went wrong with my webcam, and it took me ages to make it work. [Alex who could have fixed it within a few seconds was inappropriately in the UK attending his brother's graduation ceremony!] This is why maybe I give the impression on the video I sent to Avaaz that I am more concerned about my software than about climate change.

I got an email this morning from Ben, explaining that they weren't able to screen any of the videos at the press conference itself for technical reasons, finally. But they posted them on Youtube. Watch them: they make a nice sample of citizens' concerns around the world about a wide variety of real issues. [To watch them all, click on the thumbnail images at the end of the video announcement above, or at the end of my own below]

Real policy junkies will also be interested to watch David Miliband's entire Chatham House press conference online. Others will be satisfied with the highlights only.

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