Obviously, for anyone that's read my blog for any length of time, I've had my issues with Ripard. I'm not issue-free with him. I still think he's entirely full of himself. Ripard is never wrong, and when he is it's always with twenty caveats. And his notion that he's done more to change the game through his blog, than any CSM representative has done on the council, is laughable.
That's just his personality. He's one of those rules lawyer guys. If any of you have pen-and-paper roleplayed, you know they type of dude I'm talking about. They're not very fun to be around, but it can never be argued that they aren't steeped in a broad-base of knowledge. These guys get to know mechanics and rules inside and out, because it's in their personality to do so. They need to be an authority on everything, so they need to familiarize themselves with everything. That's certainly a good trait to have if you're going to be on the CSM, because CSM representatives, the ones who are willing to put forth an effort, end up having to wear many different hats.
Do you want a faction warfare and a mercenary representative who have never lived in nullsec, who have never done heavy industry, weighing in with their opinions on nullsec issues, such as mineral compression? Probably not. It's not a hat that fits them well. You don't want a CSM representative to be learning on the job, and then weighing in with opinions on something they still don't fully comprehend. Ripard has a broad base of knowledge. He's involved himself in a great many areas of the game, because he's wants that knowledge and the practical experience.
Ripard ran for CSM6. He lost. By about a dozen votes to Darius III. Nobody likes losing. Nobody likes losing to Darius III. Ripard, I believe, did not run for CSM7 because he feared another loss. And that's kind of understandable. Though, I think he puts too much stock into his CSM6 loss.
When he first ran, nobody really knew who the hell he was. He started his blog as a platform for his election. That's really the first anybody knew of him. He did not have the recognition at that time to pull in thousands of votes. CSM7 would have been a different story. CSM8 should be an even different story.
He's the most widely read EVE blogger. He has recognition out the wazoo. I don't see how he couldn't win a seat. Top seven is a realistic expectation, but the bottom seven should be a lock. Of course, he might see bottom seven as a failure, and that would be unfortunate. The hardest workers on CSM7 happen to be bottom seven candidates. They might not get to go to Iceland, but that doesn't mean you get shut out of the proceedings. He can build upon a CSM8 win for CSM9 re-election.
Communication. This is where I'm most curious about Ripard as a CSM rep. We are all familiar with the amount of blog posting he does; the level of communication output he puts forth into the community. I believe he will find ways to be as communicative, without breaking NDA. I do not believe he would let the CSM hat affect his blogging hat negatively. There's always the danger that he could go dark, as happens to most CSM representatives; their big promises for communicating often and frequently, transparency will be their hallmark, then they get elected and you only hear from them every three months in two week bursts.
Ripard's weakness with communication seems to be with discussion and dialogue. He abstains from using Twitter. He's only made two EVE forum posts since April. He's great at putting forth his thoughts and ideas, he seems weak on actually holding discussions and dialogues with people on those thoughts and ideas. He prefers heavily-moderated environments in which to communicate. Twitter and the EVE forums are the exact opposite of heavily-moderated, which is probably why he has avoided them. Which could be Ripard's achilles heel. Criticism. This is mainly why every CSM tends to vanish from the public eye. They cannot handle criticism. Ripard would do himself many favours if he started exposing himself to criticism as much as possible. Learn how to accept it. Learn when to listen to it. When to ignore it. Learn to recognize the valid criticism from the trolls. Learn how to be graceful in the face of criticism.
Conversely, he has no problem criticising others. Which is fine. Criticism is a necessary component of transparency. And I do believe he could bring a proper level of CSM transparency to the playerbase.
Ripard has his positives and negatives. The negatives are assumptions, based on his current habits and conduct, and could very well be wrong once he's in a position to prove them wrong.
Positive CSM representative quality #1: Ripard has an exceptionally broad base of knowledge of the game. I'm not saying all his ideas are great, but he does put a lot of thought into his ideas. He can effectively wear many hats.So, yeah, I think Ripard should run for CSM8. And I don't think it would negatively affect what he says or has been saying. He might have to keep certain CCP developments under wraps, but I think Ripard is clever enough to talk around the NDA without giving up any "secrets", while still having something useful to say to his constituents.
Positive CSM representative quality #2: He's reasonably well-respected around the community. He has good karma going into the job.
Positive CSM representative quality #3: He loves of communicate. He communicates often.
Negative CSM representative quality #1: He may not give up on his own ideas and prejudices easily, even when shown they are not feasible.
Negative CSM representative quality #2: He may not appreciate criticism and trolling. By avoiding venues where this occurs, effective communication avenues are passed over.
I'll be disappointed if I don't see Ripard's name on the ballot in 2013. And barring any fabulous faction warfare candidates on the ballot, I'll toss him my three votes. I gotta say, I'm curious what he'd bring to the CSM table. And how he would prove to be different than every other CSM candidate who became a disappointment once they were voted to represent. I think he'd end up doing fine and doing things differently.
 Unless Pinky Feldman, Rina Kondur or Almity decide to run, there's really nobody in faction warfare I'd give my votes to next year. So, if there's nobody in faction warfare that I'm interested in, then I have to look outside lowsec for a candidate.
 Fourteen CSM representatives are elected, yet by mid-term only five or six ever seem to be doing anything. The rest have checked-out of the process. This has been a constant every CSM.
 This is why I won't run for the CSM anytime soon. I've only recently begun learning about the game in any serious fashion. And still, my breadth of knowledge is very narrow, and not particularly deep. I would be that guy who was learning on the job. I would make a piss-poor representative. Certainly, I've blogged ideas about areas of the game I have little experience with, but I look at it as a learning process. I look forward not to the "You're dumb and your idea is dumb" posts, but rather the "Your idea is dumb, and here is why: [expnalation follows]" posts.
 Kelduum Revaan, a top seven representative, is forgoing his trip to Iceland this winter, Hans Jagerblitzen, a bottom seven representative, is taking his place.
 Learn how to be the exact opposite of Alekseyev Karrde, for instance. That dude does not know how to take criticism, and has no idea how to be graceful when faced with it.