Big Tech’s Social Media Samurai

Social media is still smokin’ hot. Plenty of practitioners want to use arcane terms to describe their skills – ninja, ronin, maven, guru – and they often like to call each other “douchbags.”
But one name accurately describes Big Tech’s moves to procure in-house social media talent. Like the warrior samurai class, these influential new media folks are on the front lines for the ruling tech giants.
Google snapped up Chris Messina as their “Open Web” champion.
Microsoft got Mark Drapeau for social innovation and Gov 2.0 cool and Danah Boyd, who provides an academic take on the foibles of other tech clans.
IBM’s got a whole suite of warrior class social media experts and experimenters, from Gadi Ben-Yehuda to Rita J. King to Adam Christensen (the latter got up in arms this week over a survey that pegged Microsoft as “most social”).
Samurai. Because it’s clearly not expertise alone these folks are bringing. From Drapeau’s slashing tweets to Boyd’s seething exposés to Sacca’s feel-good vibe, they exist not only to train others and to showcase the genius of their employers, but to hamstring and humiliate the competition.
I’ve missed dozens of big names and great examples and analogies. If it’s more of a sports comparison (Microsoft as the Yankees), I’m open to that. Help me in the comments?

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