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Weekend news

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As we usually do at the end of a busy week, here is a summary of the most interesting digital diplomacy news around the world. Today we focus on a Facebook chat with a Romanian presidential adviser, a special report on how international institutions communicate on Twitter, Facebook’s role in reshaping Geo-politics and many more.

Romania hosted between 25-26 November 2013 the China – CEE Economic Forum, a major event dedicated to strengthening the commercial ties between Romania and China. With this occasion, the Romanian Government chose to make more use of its online communication to promote the event and so they live streamed the most important events via the Romanian Government website, and they also live tweeted from the speeches on the government’s official Twitter account @guv_ro. A special hashtag was created with this occasion, #investro, which generated +100 tweets.

Apparently, the first social media “adventure” of presidential adviser Cristian Diaconescu was a success as he decided to continue the tradition and host a new chat on his Facebook page. We wrote more about Mr. Diaconescu’s first such en devour in a recent article.

Seems that Facebook is testing these days a rating system for pages. Not all pages are part of this experiment but we discovered a few which have already been “graded” by users. The system itself is not new, Facebook has been using it since 2012 but never in such a visible way. “We’re extending star ratings on Facebook from mobile to desktop – to make it easier for people to discover great businesses around them. This is beneficial for both businesses and consumers,” Facebook said in a statement. “Star ratings encourage more people to rate a business, making it eligible to appear in News Feed and help others discover a business they didn’t know about previously. For businesses themselves, this also leads to greater brand awareness.” It is not clear yet whether displaying this rating will be optional or mandatory for Page owners. Here are some print screens with pages which we discovered have been rated.

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Interestingly, the world’s largest social network Facebook has listed Kosovo as a country more than five years after the breakaway territory proclaimed independence from Serbia, officials said Tuesday. Until now Kosovans who wanted to create a Facebook account had to register as citizens of Serbia, as it was the only offered option when they put a Kosovo town down as their residence. Facebook’s decision has been praised by both Prime Minister Hashim Thaci and Minister for EU Accession Vlora Citaku.

Romanian Senator and former career diplomat Mircea Geoana has been appointed “Governmental High Representative” in charge with strategic projects and public diplomacy. In an article for CaleaEuropeana.ro,  http://www.caleaeuropeana.ro/ , Mr. Dan Dima, presidential adviser, explains what public diplomacy refers to and what would the impact of such an appointment.

The Zoo in Baneasa (North Bucharest) is Romania’s first zoo to use QR codes. By scaning approximately 90 codes located around the zoo, the visitors can find out interesting information about the animals hosted. QR codes have not been too popular and much used in Romania but the fact that the zoo has decided to use them are a good sign that they are trying to use social media to attract different types of visitors to their location. Looking forward to some initial results of the campaign!

Global public relations and communications firm Burson-Marsteller released its latest Twiplomacy study, which shows that all leading international organisations have a Twitter account and half of their leaders have active personal accounts as well. The report collected data throughout this month from 223 Twitter accounts of 101 international organisations, including 51 personal accounts of their leaders, and analyzed it according to more than 50 variables. You can find out the report’s most interesting findings in a recent analysis on our blog.

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