How can information be shared more quickly and efficiently among post communities overseas? Two AAFSW members, Nicole Schaefer-McDaniel and Kelly Bembry Midura, posted together in Vienna, Austria came up with a solution.
First, they set up a private, moderated Facebook group, “Vienna Vagabonds,” to connect their tri-mission post community. Members of the community immediately began enthusiastically sharing their experiences and advice about life at post in the group!
Then, Nicole and Kelly created a post community website, “TriVienna.” Offering fast and easy access to information about living in Vienna, TriVienna has been a great resource both for newcomers and for those considering bidding on the post.
Several other posts worldwide have also launched community websites. Community response to all of them has been very positive. These websites are both practical and helpful to post morale.
Not done yet, Nicole and Kelly also developed this manual in order for more overseas post communities to make use of this type of information sharing.
- An explanation of what a community website is, what content may be suitable, and ways that such a website can be useful in an overseas post community
- Detailed instructions for setting up a relatively secure Facebook group at post as a first step towards, or as an addition to, a community website
- Step by step instructions to show how anyone with basic computer skills can set up a free community website using WordPress
- An outline and explanation of available privacy and security settings for both websites and Facebook groups.
Nicole and Kelly hope this manual will inspire more American diplomatic missions worldwide to make useful information easily available to everyone in the community, before and during their tours, and whether or not they have access to the State Department Intranet.
Download it here, compliments of AAFSW!