Wednesday, June 3, 2009

President Obama Live on CO.NX: Shall I link to this?

Missing links fm websites of US Missions in top Muslim countries

The darndest thing really – you’d expect that links to President Obama’s live speech on Co.NX would be carried by all US missions in countries with substantial Muslim population. Below is a quick rundown of the US Embassies and what resources they have posted online for this major speech in Cairo. Coverage seems to range as follows:

CO.NX – LIVE webcast link

SMS text – link to speech highlight updates from

Press coverage – links to news

None - no coverage, zero links to this event (see US Embassy Baghdad)

Top 12 Countries with largest Muslim populations List of countries followed by population count (see full list)

1. Indonesia: 207,000,105 - US Embassy Jakarta has links to SMS text, WH and but no direct CO.NX link; Surabaya has no coverage

2. Pakistan: 167,430,801 - CO.NX links in Islamabad and Karachi; Peshawar and Lahore have no coverage

3. India: 156,254,615 - CO.NX and SMS links in New Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad websites; SMS link in Chennai, none in Kolkata

4. Bangladesh: 132,446,365 - CO.NX link in US Embassy Dhaka website; no coverage in Bangladesh VPPs

5. Turkey: 70,800,000 -CO.NX link in Istanbul, press coverage in Ankara, no coverage in Adana

6. Egypt: 70,530,237 - US Embassy Cairo website has press coverage only

7. Nigeria: 64,385,994 - US Embassy Abuja website has links to and SMS

8. Iran: 64,089,571 - (no US Embassy website)

9. Algeria: 32,999,883 - US Embassy Algiers website has link to SMS text

10. Morocco: 32,300,410 - US Embassy Rabat has link to SMS text; no coverage in Casablanca

11. Afghanistan: 31,571,023 - US Embassy Kabul website has no coverage but its Facebook page has the CO.NX link

12. Saudi Arabia: 26,417,599 - US Mission Saudi Arabia websites has press coverage of trip and speech but no CO.NX links

This is not the first time the President will give a speech overseas; and this is not the first time that CO.NX has been made available to the online community. So I'm amazed that the embassies online display for this event is not more "put together." In some websites the letters are so tiny, you need a magnifying glass to find these links. Some provide links to CO.NX with no accompanying explanation. So if you want to watch the speech online but don't know what to look for, well, tough luck. Still others post links to CO.NX in their website or Facebook page but not in other associated pages like virtual presence and IRC pages. This almost reminds me of Echo in the TV series, Dollhouse. After every imprint the dialog is always the same: Echo: "Shall I go now?" Topher Brink, scientist: "If you like." Shall I link to this? If you like...

In fairness, it must be said that at posts overseas, embassy websites are run by the information management office (IM), or the public affairs crew. The IM folks, of course, are dual or triple hatted to do more than website updates. We need a herder over at "R" telling the flock "I need these links up yesterday." In a way this is an octopus like operation with hundreds of arms, learning to dance together gracefully. Maybe Ms. McHale and Mr. Crowley can do something about getting them to learn appropriate new dance steps?

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Related Post: President Obama in Egypt – LIVE on CO.NX

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