President Obama does an AMA on Reddit – reveals little but crashes site
President Barack Obama continued his embrace of social media by joining social link sharing community Reddit and taking part in its Ask Me Anything (AMA) subreddit.
The President sat down for half an hour and answered some of the questions posed to him, and managed to bring down the network in the process.
According to Mashable, the post generated 700 comments in just 12 minutes. You can see all the questions he answered in a Storify below.
For the site, which has always been seen as a slightly more geeky, niche community compared to the more mainstream Facebook and Twitter, having their first Presidential AMA was a huge moment.
Some have called it Reddit’s coming out party and with President on board it is difficult to argue with that assessment.
Not unreasonably then, Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian was rather proud:
— Alexis Ohanian (@alexisohanian) August 29, 2012
Cutting through all the techy excitement though, did this dip into Reddit actually achieve anything politically? Well, as AdAge have pointed out, Obama skipped some of the more difficult questions, such as over the war on drugs. Additionally, many of the answers that he did give were well slick comms team style answers, save for a few stray lower case letters. It’s fair to say then we didn’t learn anything that new about POTUS. However, with the focus on his Republican opponents at the moment, this AMA at least got people talking about the Obama campaign once again.
You can read the full interview on The Atlantic.
As with all signifiant internet moments, Obama’s AMA inspired a meme:
Now that the team have a Reddit account, and people know it exists and is legitimate, it will be worth watching it to see if they update it more. For example, will they use it as another channel to share newslinks, videos at so on from the campaign? They certainly should, as Readdit is a growing and dedicated community which often has longer form and news based content. However, it has not traditionally been used as a site for campaigning, with people opting for more visual sites like Facebook and Pinterest, or mass audience tools like Twitter.
The AMA has certainly boosted interest in Reddit though, and if anyone can conquer using it as a campaigning tool it is likely to be the Obama digital team.