Jul 21 2009

Part 3: USAF CIO still on hiatus

Is this guy ROAD or what? He just got promoted for failing to use his "bully pulpit 2.0"
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I honestly never thought I’d use the phrase “continuing series” about a military CIO’s totally stagnant website. You jab ‘em in a column, they get off their duffs, then you move on … yet here I sit, writing once more about visible stagnation in the office of the Air Force Chief Information Officer.

The official website of the USAF CIO remained totally stagnant during Lt Gen William Shelton's tenure

The offi­cial web­site of the USAF CIO re­mained totally stag­nant during Lt Gen William Shel­ton's tenure

Lt Gen William Shelton, the outgoing CIO, has nailed a promotion if you can believe it — in part for failing to get anyone in his office to do anything with his official “bully pulpit 2.0″ website. Is this guy ROAD or what?

If, as a child, you ever found a mosquito nursery in an old tire, then you know how I feel right now. “Grandma, where do you keep the chlorine bottle? I found some stagnant waterweb pages…”

Seriously, folks: how can one top cyber-warrior after another ignore such a vital marketing tool? I quote myself from my previous column in this continuing series:

“This CIO, more than anyone else, should have used his website to hawk his agency’s cyberspace prowess. And yet the other military CIOs put him to shame with their updated content…”

“C’mon, Rob, it’s just a website. Is it really such a big deal?” Yes. It goes all the way up to the office of the Secretary of the Air Force, who warned that “just as Billy Mitchell endeavored to prove the potential of air power to a skeptical nation, we must now prove the critical importance of cyberspace as a war fighting domain.” He clearly wants a CIO with enough drive to to use the bully pulpit for its intended purpose— oops! The cited URL used Billy Mitchell’s name in vain re: a new email policy. Hmph. It pains me when USAF insinuates Mitchell spoke legalese with a bureaucratic accent. If you’ll let me start over, I promise to cite a much better URL…

Is this guy ROAD or what?

“C’mon, Rob, it’s just a website. Is it really such a big deal?” Yes. It goes all the way up to the office of the director of the National Security Agency, who lamented that “there is no modern Billy Mitchell.” The last two generals to hold the title of “Air Force CIO” certainly embody this lament — ironically at a time when USAF needed them to pound their fists on the digital lectern.

Memo to the Secretary of the Air Force: you really need to pick a CIO with at least enough drive & vision to use a “bully pulpit 2.0″ for its intended purpose. Capisce?

Okay. So. Michael Peterson never did anything as CIO if we’re to believe the official website. Nor did William Shelton. Up next for the job: William T. Lord, who will pin on a third star after his own aborted effort to launch “AFCYBER.”

“Rob, do you think Lord will leave the CIO website in stagnation like his predecessors did?” No. If my sourcehunch proves right, Lord will finally turn the CIO website into a bully pulpit. He seems to enjoy the limelight, you know. (I’ll bet he got seriously miffed when General Kevin Chilton discussed cyberspace on the Charlie Rose show.)

Memo to General Lord: Let’s make this the last column in my “continuing series” about a stagnant USAF CIO website. Deal?

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