Small Wars Journal


The U.S. Department of State has launched its first blog -- Dipnote. Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Sean McCormack:

Welcome to the State Department's first-ever blog, Dipnote. As a communicator for the Department, I have the opportunity to do my fair share of talking on a daily basis. With the launch of Dipnote, we are hoping to start a dialogue with the public. More than ever, world events affect our daily lives--what we see and hear, what we do, and how we work. I hope Dipnote will provide you with a window into the work of the people responsible for our foreign policy, and will give you a chance to be active participants in a community focused on some of the great issues of our world today.

With Dipnote we are going to take you behind the scenes at the State Department and bring you closer to the personalities of the Department. We are going to try and break through some of the jargon and talk about how we operate around the world.

We invite you to participate in this community, and I am looking forward to stepping away from my podium every now and then into the blogosphere. Let the conversation begin.

Also see the DoS Video / Audio page and YouTube channel.

Hat Tip MountainRunner


Urban dictionary:

" Dipstick

One who has the intelligence of an oil dipstick in a car. Usually the oil is dirty and "not too bright" much like the person being described.

I see that the sun doesn't shine on your field you dipstick!

a loser, idiot "

A truly dipstick choice of name.


Sat, 09/29/2007 - 2:30pm

They made their next mistake. No one apparently moderates the blog "after hours". Think they are doing a monday through friday deal.


Fri, 09/28/2007 - 3:10am

No offense, but in a world where more than half of the polity functions in "populist" mode, names and brands have a meaning. Thus, while I am hoping for something good out of the blog, "losers announce themselves early" is just about what's happened with the name.

However, their first question to the public on Nuclear Technology is right out of the chute with "confrontational".

Dipnote is shortspeak for "Diplomatic Note" according to their web site. I'll give them a pass on this one. Let's wait and see if this blog becomes yet another means to spew "we want to be buddies with everybody in the world and love everyone and flowers are pretty and so is sunshine" State Department-speak, or if it is a real life, real time exchange of hard and confrontive ideas.

Time will tell the story, not the name of the blog. In the battle of ideas, losers announce themselves early on.


Thu, 09/27/2007 - 10:32pm

Okay. I see someone beat me to it. Either someone up at state is an idiot in PR or they thought they were being funny.


Good lord. Why didn't they just call it "Idiots Blog"?

Branding, people. Don't they have any fifth avenue advertisement agencies on the rolodex they could have consulted?

These dipsticks don't know what they're doing. Pitiful.

In the area of strategic communications, perception management, information operations, and counterpropaganda, any islands of competence in the US Government are so well camoflaged it is hard to believe they exist.

Merv Benson

Thu, 09/27/2007 - 2:28pm

I have seen some goofy names for blogs. If there is a list of them, the name of this blog certainly belongs on it. How about State Talk Express?

SWJ Groundskeeper

Thu, 09/27/2007 - 12:32pm

Darn that dark background makes it hard to read for my old eyes.