A new form of power player has emerged in the past year as social technologies like WordPress, Facebook, and Twitter are increasingly used to expand professional networks, drum up support for issues, and build personal brands. Here are some of the hottest – and coolest – nouveau Washington geeks.
By Mark Drapeau
The Newcomer – Macon Phillips, White House Director of New Media.
From the campaign to the presidency, Phillips is the brain behind much of President Obama’s internet operation, including the savvy WhiteHouse.gov site.
The Wonder Woman – Casey Coleman, Chief Information Officer of the General Services Administration.
In charge of a $500 million portfolio, this master of the space where tech meets business is powerful. But more importantly, as GSA negotiates government-wide agreements with entities like Facebook, Vimeo, and Flickr, Coleman has been using an official government blog and her personal Twitter account to network and spread the word about GSA’s role in the tech world.
The Guy You Don’t Know – Charles (Jack) Holt, Director of Emerging Technologies, Defense Media Activity.
The Defense Department’s new media team, led by Jack Holt, is surging ahead of the private sector: networking military bloggers with military commanders, developing online radio and video programming for BlogTalkRadio and YouTube, and educating government execs about emerging technologies.
The Cloutformer – Hon. John Culberson, (R-TX)
Mr. Culberson is still a relatively junior congressman on the Hill, but since adopting a strategy of openness, transparency, and participation with citizens, his clout has grown. Culberson is simply the best elected official using social media like Twitter and Qik to communicate with other members, his constituents, and thought leaders, which has increased both his profile and, perhaps, his ability to get things done.
The Still-Relevant Campaigners – Karl Rove, Former Deputy Chief of Staff to President Bush; Joe Trippi, Former Presidential Campaign Manager for Gov. Howard Dean.
They still appear on television and write formal op-eds, but these two politicos have also leveraged blogging and microsharing technology to share views in other formats and have drawn in a whole new audience of fans – and detractors – for their messages, helping them stay relevant ‘behind the scenes.”