Self-appointed "geeks" are nominating their blogosphere heroes to become America's CTO under presumptive President Barack Obama. The roster reads like the speaker list at any old emerging-technology conference: Larry Lessig. Tim O'Reilly. Dave Winer. Would any of these guys know a data governance strategy if it bit them on the face? Obviously, what their fans really want isn't a chief technology officer, it's someone to be Obama's Web 2.0 point man — a Social Media Czar. Guess who that should be?"They could use someone with a serious understanding of social media *and* some political / campaign experience," wrote a former government technology adviser in my inbox. "To my knowledge, they don't have that person." The role would be pretty simple: Keep President Obama's message out front and ahead of his detractors on Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Boing Boing and every other breaking-news feed used by Internet addicts who don't trust CNN. Because as this week's fumbled VP announcement demonstrated, if you aren't on message 24/7, you'll be claim-jumped by opponents jamming the channel with misinformation. Obama will need someone to lead the troops. Someone to be available as go-to person for the mainstream media reporters who'll write trend articles based on three status updates. The position doesn't need a pontificating "thought leader." It needs someone who knows how to own the Internet. Tim Berners-Lee? Marc Andreessen? Caterina Fake from Flickr? Are you serious? There's only one person on Earth with a proven ability to stay on top of Web 2.0 regardless of her message — or lack thereof. That's our always-on mascot Julia Allison. Unlike any of the proposed nominees, she's dated a congressman. Oh, and she worked on Capitol Hill as a "legislative correspondent." Not much, but that's more exposure to Beltway mores than most of the old goats currently being Twittered for the job. And more than any other member of the Web 2.0 mafia, Julia Allison has a proven track record of getting people to show up for parties — er, meetings. (Photo by Brian Solis)
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