It’s been a while since I’ve made an “audio post” to a blog (I’m more “video” these days). However, some recent blog posts and Twitter comments by Patrick Ruffini inspired me to dust-off the Skype account and Audio Hijack software and give him a call. In 2004 Ruffini had the very Web 1.0 title “webmaster” for the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign. Despite the title, he ushered in some very Web 2.0 features and approaches to the site — and the campaign. Over 30,000 off-line “meetup-like” volunteer gatherings were organized on the site and over 5,000 websites and weblogs hosted the badges and widgets (remember, this was in 2004) that Ruffini’s team developed using RSS and XML. After the election, he ran the Inauguration website and later had a two-year stint as eCampaign Director for the GOP.
After the jump, read more and listen to the interview.
Today, he’s a consultant and advisor to campaigns and organizations. Apart from his partisan activities, he expresses his unbridled presidential political wonkishness by collecting, organizing and analyzing a dizzying array of online statistics related to presidential campaigns related to both political parties. For example, since 2005, his 2008 Presidential Wire has monitored blogs and news websites (via RSS feeds, primarily) in a way that could provide a trove of data for future historians, economists or hardcore number wonks. During the past year, he has meticulously tracked (and screen-grabbed) the ever-changing websites of presidential candidates in both parties.
While this 16 minute audio focuses heavily on the historical significance of the online fundraising by the Obama campaign (see this article in the Washington Post), I also asked Patrick to discuss his thoughts on the current role of blogs in presidential news coverage (vs. 2004) — and, more recently, Twitter.