I have known John Simonds at IBM a long time now. A more charming guy you aren’t likely to meet. One mark of his charm is that fact that while our poltics are pretty much 180% in opposition, we still find plenty of common ground (blogging, the importance of family, the need to recognise contributions and bravery) and have a great relationship.
I think it would make sense to give John a budget and a perhaps a small team and let him make some mischief as the first IBM blogger relations person. He could be a very useful cross-company resource. The only other natural for the role would have been Catherine Helzerman, but she left to join Sun recently.
disclaimers: John is a friend of mine. IBM is a client.