Embedded blogging from Afghanistan

Starting tomorrow I’ll fly to Kabul for an embedded mission in Afghanistan with US NATO. Thanks to the US Embassy in Rome I have been selected by NATO for a press tour as a blogger, not belonging to any media organization. It is the first time, as I know, for an Italian blogger to do that. Cool, isn’t it?

Anyway, today I had a very interesting briefing day here in Bruxelles at NATO HQ. We (me and 5 other guys from Germany, Cech Rep., Hungary, Slovakia and Polony) had the chance to be informed about NATO organization and NATO operations in Afghanistan and to discuss this topic with many officials, military and diplomats, including the US Ambassador at NATO. I also asked a couple of question to Mr. Ivo Daalder (the Ambassador) about Twitter and social media for diplomacy and I told us that he really enjoy Twitter. This meeting was on the record so I can quote him as follows:

I tweet personally, I spend a lot of time. I think it is an extraordinary way to follow news, it is a fantastic media.
The question is how do we use responsably to spread message out.
This is future, to reach a broader audience, integrated with old media, big challenge
I enjoy it

We had also a very engaging conversation about geopolitics, Afghanistan after 2014, Pakistan link with Afghanistan and more. I really appreciated what the US NATO organized today to learn about what’s going on in Afghanistan today to be ready for our mission on the field.

I cannot write anything about cities, dates and itineraries in advance for a security reason but I can tell that we are going to have 5 full days in Afghanistan visiting a PRT, being a tourist (really!) in another famous place and meeting local people, diplomats and military. It is going to be challenging for many point of views. I should wear a helmet and vest almost all the time. The temperature should be between 20 and 35 celsius during next days.

On the field they told me I should have a internet connection to blog and twit during the evening and night but I am not 100% sure I’ll be able to do that. If You are able to read Italian You’ll find much more informations in my Italian blog and Twitter account. I’ll try to blog and twit in english too but it will not be my first priority.

I know I could be in a dangerous situation but I am confident everything will be all right and that we will have the chance to chat and discuss this mission on Twitter and Facebook when I’ll come back in july.

My Italian blog
My Italian Twitter
My english Twitter

Madrid for #FocusGlobalDrive

Two weekends ago I have been in a lovely event by Ford in Madrid. It was a global event with people coming from Europe and North America to celebrate and test the brand new Ford Focus.

Amazing view

We stayed in Hotel Puerta America, an amazing hotel in the city center of Madrid. This is my view from 11th floor.

Madrid

Test drive

We had the opportunity to test the car in a special track. I was fun and interesting at the same time, even if I am not a car expert. You can find more information search the social web with this tag: #FocusGlobalDrive. Test the car when You can: it has a lot of feature that I did not expect.

Ford Focus event in Madrid

Delicious food

Ford did its best to organize a wonderful event. Food was at top level.

Ford Focus event in Madrid

Friendly competition

We were 25 blogger and 40 winners of a Facebook competition. Ford donated 400.000 dollars to 40 charities and more money during a friendly competition during that weekend. Fun and solidarity at the same time. Good point Ford!

Ford Focus event in Madrid

Italian crew

Four Italians and we won two awards. Not bad at all!

Ford Focus event in Madrid

More information searching for #FocusGlobalDrive in Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, blogs, Facebook and more.

Events, travel, media, tv, books and more

New York trip

What a start! 2011 started really fast and I didn’t stop yet. Yes, I know, I don’t update this blog so much but You can follow me on Twitter or in Facebook if You want to. Don’t forget!

February has been dedicated to travel. I have been in New York for museums, friends and a conference (TOC NY 2011), Montreal for friends, Madrid for a Ford event (search for #focusglobaldrive to know more), Tanger and Paris for friends. Some pics are on Flickr and I’ll blog some of them later today with some comments. In that month two of my most recent books have been sold on every newsstands in Italy as an add-on of Il Sole 24 Ore (first economical newspaper in Italy). They sold more or less 8-10.000 copies in two weeks!

March started fast too. I opened a new startup company (Web & Media Life, work in progres…) and I went to a ebook conference (Ebook Lab Italia #ebooklab) last week. Next one I’ll go back to Austin, USA for SXSW as a speaker for Italy Tech Summit panel (!!). More events are coming at the end of the month. I’ll also write many articles for Nova (Il Sole 24 Ore), Tekneco and Wired.it. I would like to work for a new book but I have not a lot of time to do it.

Yesterday I did an interview live on national tv in Italy (Raidue). You can watch me again on YouTube (Italian, sorry)

Communication, environment and WordPress

Next weekend I’ll take part in two event in Milan area.

The first one is one huge barcamp about WordPress and blogging in Italy. It could be a great opportunity to meet and discuss the evolution of blog & corporation. I’ll have a speech about it next friday just after Andy Peatling, BuddyPress guru and special gust for this event.

Sunday afternoon I’ll be honoured to take part in another event during Park’s day. We’ll talk about environment, communication and Internet thanks to a workshop organized by Ente Parchi Lago Maggiore and Francesca D’Amato. Good opportunity to talk about three of my greatest passions.