By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers.
You may think that its post-9/11 policies are out of date, but the State Department's venture into the digital world is nothing to scoff at. Its year-old "DipNote" blog has 2 million viewers, and top spokesman Sean McCormack has just gone YouTube in the diplomat's bid to bring State into the 21st century. "It gives a face and voice to the department," he tells Whispers. Going online wasn't easy, of course. It took two years to update the press room and website, but now, McCormack's ideas are in demand from other departments and even foreign governments looking to beef up their online presence. One discovery: The blog and his YouTube press conferences attract different audiences. The blog, done by midlevel experts on a bunch of issues, is big with older viewers. His YouTube meets, where people E-mail their questions for him to answer, lures a younger and quizzical crowd.