They Will Greet Us as Social Networkers

Call it the final wave of the American invasion: A passel of tech executives from Google, YouTube, Twitter, and others, squired by a Wired feature writer, are touring Iraq.

The State Department has released the list of minor players traveling to the country to share their thoughts on "how new technologies can be used to build local capacity, foster greater transparency and accountability, build upon anti-corruption efforts, promote critical thinking in the classroom, scale-up civil society, and further empower local entities and individuals by providing the tools for network building":

  • Jason Liebman, CEO-Founder, Howcast
  • David Nassar, VP, Blue State Digital
  • Scott Heiferman, CEO, MeetUp
  • Raanan Bar-Cohen, VP, Automattic/WordPress
  • Richard Robbins, Director of Social Innovation, AT&T
  • Jack Dorsey, Chairman-Founder, Twitter
  • Kannan Pashupathy, Director of International Engineering Operations, Google
  • Ahmad Hamzawi, Head of Engineering, Middle East/North Africa, Google
  • Hunter Walk, Head of Product Development, YouTube
  • Steven Levy, Senior Writer, Wired Magazine

Is this a joke? It sounds like the State Department rounded up all the people who couldn't even qualify to go to Social Web Foo Camp in the woods of Sebastopol, Calif. last weekend. (For example: Jack Dorsey, Twitter's "chairman," has time on his hands after being fired as the comapny's CEO.) In other words, we're hardly sending our best and brightest. Save for the misplaced Levy, a talented writer whose job we do not envy. How will he turn this gang of second stringers into the heroes of a Wired feature?

(Photo by AP)