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Department of State Launches New Tool to Foster Online Open Dialogue


Media Note
Washington, DC
March 15, 2010

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The Department of State today launches "Opinion Space", an interactive site hosted on State.gov that seeks to foster global conversations on foreign affairs.

“Opinion Space will harness the power of connection technologies to provide a unique forum for international dialogue. This is an example of what we call 21st century statecraft and an opportunity to extend our engagement beyond the halls of government directly to the people of the world. I can't wait to be a part of this exciting new conversation,” said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Opinion Space, developed jointly by the Department of State and the University of California at Berkeley’s Center for New Media (BCNM), is accessible to anyone around the world.

Opinion Space invites users to share their perspectives and ideas on U.S. foreign policy in an innovative visual "opinion map" that will illustrate which ideas result in the most discussion and which ideas are judged most insightful by the community of participants

"This map is not based on geography or predetermined categories, but on similarity of opinion," said UC Professor and BCNM director Ken Goldberg, "Opinion Space is designed to 'depolarize' discussions by including all participants on a level playing field."

To join the discussion on Opinion Space visit: http://state.gov/opinionspace and see where you stand with respect to others around the world. You can already see the emerging opinion map in response to the first discussion question: "If you met U. S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, what issue would you tell her about, why is it important to you, and what specific suggestions do you have for addressing it?" Future discussion questions will be on a range of foreign policy priorities.

For more information, please contact: Katie Dowd, Director of New Media @ State Department, DowdKW@State.gov or Ken Goldberg, Berkeley Center for New Media, at: goldberg@berkeley.edu or at 415-722-5649.



PRN: 2010/302



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