Web 2.0 Representation in the Obama Administration

We are not 4 full days into the Obama transition period and already three web executives have made theoir way into the mix in some kind of advisory role. Yesterday, we covered the naming of Julius Genachowski of Launchbox Digital and Sonal Shah of Google.org to the transition team. Today, the New York Times points out that Google CEO Eric Schmidt has been named to his economic advisory board.

This got me thinking about what a Web 2.0 Administration would look like. In considering roles within the new administration, I’m suggesting possibilities based on their personal reputation within the web space with a favoring for people that own or run their own companies.

Chris Brogan is the ultimate diplomat and community guy, so he should be considered for Secretary of State. Louis Gray is my candidate for Ambassador to the United Nations. Oh and Tom from MySpace needs to be an Ambassador or something because he’s everyones friend.

Jason Calacanis is a master businessman, having been the CEO or an executive in companies such as Weblogs Inc., AOL and now Mahalo. As such, I am naming him as Secretary of Commerce.

Mike Arrington is not a practicing attorney, but it is his background. He is a no-bullshit kind of guy not hesitating to name companies to the dead pool if he thinks they have no chance and propping up companies who he believes does have a chance. Because of the nature of the FBI, and the Department of Justice, Mike seems like a good fit as the Attorney General.

Gary Vaynerchuk, as the ultimate communicator, is qualified and should be President Obama’s Press Secretary.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs seems to be the only CEO of a publicly traded company (AAPL) who seems to be doing okay in the economic downturn. Sure, he might want to redistribute iPods, and ensure the Star Spangled Banner is the top pick in the iTunes Music Store for 4 years, but he should be the Secretary of the Treasury.

Lightning rod video and puppet blogger, Loren Feldman, has no issue going after “enemies of America” (or anyone else) and as such, he gets my designation for Secretary of Defense.

Knowledge blogger, Dave Taylor, has built up a wealth of intelligence regarding a variety of topics. I nominate him as the Director of Central Intelligence.

Graham Hill of Treehugger is the notable nominee for Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk as Administrator of NASA.

Julia Allison should definitely be a White House intern.

What do you think? Who else should be in the cabinet?

Added: Melanie Notkin has been nominated, and I concur, in comments below as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Her site is using Web 2.0 to enlighten and inform aunts, families and the general population.

Obama Names Googler and Launchbox Digital Cofounder to Transition Team

In a move that demonstrates a commitment to web technology, President-elect Barack Obama has named a Google executive and a Launchbox Digital cofounder to his transition team.

julius-genachowskiJulius Genachowski, from Launchbox Digital a DC-based web incubator investment company in the order of YCombinator and Techstars, IAC and Rock Creek Ventures comes to the team with a tremendous amount of value and knowledge. And he’s one of our own.

Sonal Shah comes from the Google.org Philanthropy branch of the internet search giant and is also a former executive for Goldman Sachs.

sonal-shahI guess the takeaway here is that grassroots is power (Launchbox Digital) and that an Obama administration believes in “Don’t be Evil.”

One of our key cornerstones for an Obama endorsement was his commitment to advancing the technology and science sectors here in the United States. This is a great start in the right direction.

[Source: CNET]

What McCain-Feingold Did For Social Media in the Election

Now that the election is over and we have an understanding of the numbers that were put up by both campaigns, I think we can safely say that the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill both killed the McCain campaign and reinforced social media at the helm of communications for the future.

Let me explain. There were over 120 million votes cast (a conservative number at that!) in yesterdays election. That is almost all of the eligible voting population, or approximately an 85% turnout rate. Obama raised nearly $900M for his campaign and spent nearly $860M of that.

What happened over the past 2 years has been simply extraordinary. McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act was passed in 2002 to much fanfare by placing strict regulations on “hard” and “soft” money. Hard money was money contributed directly to a candidate while soft money was defined as money contributed to a party for discretionary allocation. Usually, soft money was tied up in “issue based” advertising that benefitted a candidate indirectly.

McCain-Feingold imposed limits on how much money could be contributed to a campaign by special interests. This placed the “money support” mandate in the hands of individuals. Obama capitalized on this by extensive use of grassroots campaigning. Jay Voorhees calls it an Open Source Presidency.

Through the use of Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and text messaging, he locked in the Gen X and Millenial votes and raised more money with grassroots efforts (“Donate $5, please”) than any other campaign in history.

Social media friends here in DC went to Florida, Virginia and Colorado to ensure that the vote was turned out for Obama.

Special interest had little role in this election. Passionate people rallied and inspired, contributing frequently in small amounts, powered this victory.

Meanwhile, the McCain campaign tried to run a traditional campaign subject to the rules that the candidate himself authored in 2002.

Victory will always go to the individual who is able to adapt to changes in the landscape and Obama clearly did that better than McCain.