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All Mick, all the time

Scott CondonAspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN This year’s Aspen mayoral race has the potential to be all Mick, all the time.Mick Ireland is preparing to use new technologies for his campaign in a way never introduced into local politics. Ireland is considering the use of audio podcasts, Internet video, blogs and a website to get his messages out, said Steve Kaufman, a midvalley technological wizard.Project West, an Aspen marketing company helping organize Ireland’s campaign, contacted Kaufman to see if he would help create and post the podcasts that could be downloaded and the video that could be streamed onto personal computers from the Internet.Kaufman said he volunteered to assist Ireland’s campaign. He stressed that his work won’t be on behalf of Access Roaring Fork, a Basalt-based public access television station and nonprofit organization he created.Kaufman said Ireland plans to shoot video of a question-and-answer session today, when he will outline his positions on major issues. Video will also be shot Thursday when Ireland makes a formal announcement of his entry at noon at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, according to Kaufman.The video could be posted on a site like YouTube, where potential voters could be directed to see Ireland talking about a position on a topic like the Entrance to Aspen. YouTube is a popular, free video-sharing website. Just the audio portion of a shoot would be necessary for a podcast.”My recommendation is do it all,” Kaufman said.Ireland didn’t respond Monday to a telephone message or an e-mail from The Aspen Times seeking comment about his high-tech campaign strategy.While Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, among others, relied heavily this year on new technologies to announce their candidacy for U.S. president, it isn’t a tool that has been in wide use in Roaring Fork Valley politics.Kaufman said he believes Ireland is making a wise move. New technologies provide candidates a way to send messages that aren’t reduced to sound bites by reporters in newspapers, radio and television, he said. Plus, interested voters have access to campaign information on the Internet whenever they want it – not when a media outlet wants to give it to them.Ireland, who served 13 years as a Pitkin County commissioner and was victorious in three regular elections and two recall elections, is known for his tireless campaigning. Kaufman said he wouldn’t expect that Ireland would stop following traditional campaign strategies, like going door to door and buying newspaper and radio advertisements, despite the high-tech approach.”My sense is this will not slow him down one iota,” Kaufman said.Ironically, perhaps, Ireland will still have to depend on old technologies, such as newspapers, to help people find his messages on the new technologies, Kaufman noted.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is scondon@aspentimes.com


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