That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation.
-Thomas Jefferson, 1813
Even back in 1813 Thomas Jefferson understood the power of the exchange of information. He understood that no one owns information. Oh, many try to, but time usually tells the tale. He also recognized that by trading information we grow exponentially. We are “expansible over all space” and that by sharing we are “incapable of confinement”. Such is the case in
This leak by the new media in
Beyond the exchange of information being Public Diplomacy it is also what is called Soft Power. According to the father of Soft Power Joseph Nye Jr. Soft Power is “the ability to get what you want by attracting and persuading others to adopt your goals…” by attraction rather than coercion. These Burmese blogs do not threaten us or hold us hostage in order to get their message across rather they tell a compelling story that stands on its own merit.
We are not to a point where New Media can drive a story on its own and ensure action. Rather, it still requires the old media to take the baton from the New and then pass it own to our traditional hard powers like the
If you want to participate in this public diplomacy and increase the soft power of the Burmese citizens I suggest you log-on and connect with these people via their blogs. You can find a dearth of information on the Burmese blogosphere at globalvoicesonline.com or more specifically: