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

Time Magazine interview about Internet, politics and Italy

I am very happy Time Magazine asked me to answer to a few questions about Internet in Italy. I don’ like what is going on now, but this is Italy today.

Some say that Italy’s ruling class is just struggling to keep pace with the Internet revolution. “Italy’s political culture is far removed from new technology,” says Luca Conti, 34, a blogger in the coastal city of Senigallia. “They’re not even focused yet on how to control the Internet since they haven’t even figured out how to use it to their advantage.” Case in point: more than 100,000 people attended an anti-Berlusconi rally in Rome last month that was organized on Facebook, but the top opposition politicians snubbed the event. Conti says the country’s leaders — left, right and center — are still focused solely on reaching the public via TV and newspapers. And unlike the Internet, the movers and shakers of the old media are some very familiar faces.

Berlusconi vs. Google: Will Italy Censor YouTube?