Barack Obama, meet your new Social Media Czar

Paul Boutin · 08/25/08 07:00PM

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)

Why Is The 'Other Woman' Always Such A Blabbermouth?

Moe · 08/20/08 03:17PM

So John Edwards' maybe-babymama Rielle Hunter was a blabbermouth. Have you ever known anyone who had an affair with a married man? How'd you find out? Rhetorical question, yes! So, Radar wants to know why Rielle couldn't keep her freaking jaw in place about boning John Edwards. She would be so much better off if she'd just had a little discretion! Hey, did you ever think on how a widely-used synonym for "affair" is "indiscretion"? No, it's not so much that they go together like peanut butter and jelly; more like they're the exact same thing. What sort of patently talentless dilettante chats up a politician in a bar and manages to secure a lucrative contract with his campaign and either his or his close confidante's participation in unprotected sex? Answer: someone who shares the personality traits of a Donna Rice or Monica Lewinsky — the kind of woman who to enters beauty pageants, shares her innermost secrets with Linda Tripp or in this case blabs about married John from North Carolina to her web developer and anybody else who'll listen.Why do you think that whenever politicians from Bill Clinton to John Edwards stray, you always hear about the extensive efforts made by their staffers and confidantes to keep them away from their accomplices to infidelity? Because people like Rielle Hunter are not generally subtle; people like Rielle Hunter would equate "subtle" with a gentle snap of one's thong! In my years as a chronic oversharing discretion lacker I have found we often attract the same type. It's no accident Monica gave that exclusive interview to someone who just told the world how she used to screw Alan Greenspan! Which brings us to Rielle's ex Jay McInerney. He says he wrote about Rielle because he was "intrigued and appalled" by her behavior. I bet that in Rielle's case he would switch the verb to "bored" at this point. Which is what is so exceptionally unboring about Rielle Hunter! She changed her name, but unlike anti-pornography activist conservawife Donna Rice Hughes she never changed her ability to summon the energy to hit on powerful men and babble incessantly about it to all her blabbermouth friends. She would probably claim it was because she and John shared True Love. You might claim she is simply an incurable narcissist. I would say you're both right!

Field Guide: Julia Allison

Chris Mohney · 11/01/06 06:10PM

I was sort of annoyed that the New York Times didn't interview me ... I'm sort of surprised no news producers have called me yet.