Page 40 - Foreign Service Journal - February 2013

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40
FEBRUARY 2013
|
THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
AFSA NEWS
I don’t tweet. I don’t blog. I
don’t have a personal Web
page. My Facebook activity
is limited to reading posts by
family and friends. What’s
wrong with that?
Nothing, since I want to
keep a low online profle.
Everything, since as a
member of AFSA’s Governing
Board, I want to do as much
as I can to raise the profle
of AFSA and increase public
awareness of the role of the
Foreign Service.
One of the best, easiest
and most cost efective ways
to promote AFSA, protect
the hard won benefts that
we retirees enjoy, and sup-
port our colleagues who are
still on active duty, is to use
social media to reach out
beyond our circle of friends
and family (who probably
already know and support
the Foreign Service).
Some AFSA members
include a shout-out for the
Foreign Service in the annual
holiday newsletter that falls
out of their card.
Others write letters to
the editor or the occasional
column for local print media,
or serve as an expert com-
mentator for a local TV or
radio station.
Some AFSA members
maintain an active online
presence through blogs, Web
sites and their Facebook
page (for those members
who are already e-active,
please skip to the last para-
graph; for those members
who are not, please consider
RETIREE VP VOICE | BY MEG GILROY
AFSA NEWS
Views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the AFSA Retiree VP.
reading the next three para-
graphs).
What exactly is social
media? Basically, it is using
technology to exchange
ideas with other people who
are using the same technol-
ogy. Kind of like a virtual
town square or cofee shop
(without the aroma or the
calories), where you can chat
and exchange information
with others who may be six
times zones away.
The main costs are the
initial investment in a com-
puter (or laptop or netbook),
a tablet (like iPad) or a smart
phone, and however much
time you want to spend
creating content to post and
reading other people’s posts.
No fee is required to sign
up for social media sites such
as Facebook or Twitter (not
an endorsement of either
site, just using them as an
example).
What if you don’t want to
spend your time “creating
content?” No problem. Most
social media sites make it
incredibly easy for non-tech
people to link from the user’s
page to another page that
might be information-rich.
In a few easy steps, you
can make your page a gate-
way to
www.afsa.org, wh
ich
has excellent information on
what the Foreign Service is
and why it’s important.
You can also link to AFSA’s
other online presences on
Facebook
(www.facebook.
com/afsapage), Tw
itter
(www.twitter.com/afs
at-
weets)
and YouTube
(www.
youtube.com/afsatube).
Whether you choose to
promote AFSA virtually or
actually, thank you for your
support of AFSA and the
Foreign Service.
n
To Blog or Not to Blog?
Kind of like a virtual town square or cofee
shop (without the aroma or the calories),
where you can chat and exchange
information with others who may be six
times zones away.
AFSA Welcomes New Interns
Our spring semester interns have arrived, and are already hard at work on
behalf of our members. We want to take this opportunity to formally welcome
them to AFSA.
Jennifer Lowry is the Communications, Marketing and Outreach Intern. She
is a senior communications major at the University of California, Santa Bar-
bara, and has just recently returned from a semester abroad in Italy. The new
Foreign Service Journal
Editorial Intern is Jef Richards, a senior international
afairs major at The George Washington University’s Elliott School. Our new
Advertising Intern is Andreas Dorner, who hails from Germany and is a student
at the HAN University of Applied Sciences in Arnhem, Netherlands. Catherine
Fernandez, our new Scholarships Intern. She comes from Miami and attends
Florida International University, majoring in religious studies. Finally, our Execu-
tive Ofce intern is Lucas Rogers, a freshman international afairs major at The
George Washington University’s Elliott School.
We thank our departing group of interns—Jonathan Yuan, Emily Hawley and
Edward Hardrianto Kurniawan—and wish them the best in their future endeav-
ors.