Hello. My name is Ben, and I’m passionate about community, about my family, about craft beer, about experiencing new cultures and experiences, and about using digital media to break down traditional barriers between individuals and companies, political candidates, and non-profits.
I live in Lexington, Ky, but spend a lot of time each year traveling around the United States and the world talking to organizations interested in changing how they relate to individuals using technology. I am lucky enough to be married to the wonderful Becca Self, who somehow always has the energy required to keep me on my toes.
My official bio follows -
Ben Self is a specialist in building successful online engagements between organizations and their customers or constituents. In 2004, with four other veterans of Howard Dean’s Internet team, he founded Blue State Digital, a consulting firm that specializes in creating new media strategy and technology for political candidates, non-profits, and companies. Blue State Digital’s software and strategy powers the online presence of the largest and most prominent Democratic candidates and progressive organizations, including the presidential campaign of Barack Obama. Blue State Digital also serves numerous non-profits and corporations, such as AT&T, the Red Cross, Madonna’s Raising Malawi, HBO, the Tony Awards, New York University, the Hearst Corporation, and the Sundance Film Festival. Ben helped build the company to over 120 employees, hundreds of clients, and over 14 million dollars in revenue, before leaving in January of 2010 in order to spend more time in his hometown of Lexington, Kentucky.
During the 2008 election cycle, Ben Self also served as the DNC Technology Director, where, as a key member of the DNC’s senior staff, he supervised the technology projects of the national party – focusing specifically on the website, computer infrastructure, compliance software, and national voter file database. In this role, Ben led projects that entirely revamped the technology of the DNC, including a complete replacement of the website and the Democratic Party’s national voter file (VoteBuilder).
After the election, Ben spent the following year working to grow Blue State’s work nationally and internationally, including work in Mexico, Brazil, Portugal, England, Italy, and Columbia. Ben left Blue State Digital at the end of 2009 in order to spend more time in his hometown of Lexington
In 2011, Ben launched West Sixth Brewing and the Bread Box. West Sixth Brewing is Lexington’s newest craft brewery, and the only brewery in Kentucky to can its flagship beer — the West Sixth IPA. The Bread Box development is a adaptive-reuse of a historic Rainbo bread factory that includes a non-profit bike shop (Broke Spoke), a vertical farm (FoodChain), artists studios, a small-scale coffee roaster, the Rollergirls of Central Kentucky and others.
During his career, Ben has garnered extensive experience in new media technologies, statistical data analysis, data warehousing, database architecture and administration, system design, and system development. He has created data warehouses for a variety of industries, including health care, telecommunications, finance, and insurance. In these industries, he has worked at all levels of system development — from designing and writing the software itself to managing large teams responsible for developing systems to be used by tens of thousands of users. In addition to this work, Ben has performed extensive research and written a thesis on object-oriented design.
Ben has both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and lives in Lexington, Kentucky with his wife Rebecca.