Obama Runs a Digital Town Hall Meeting on Reddit IAMA
If you are one of the people that have been skeptical about the relevance of Reddit, now is time to change your tune. Our 44th president, Barack Hussein Obama, has taken to the site to answer questions from people around the world on an IAMA.
Reddit is a user-generated and user voted on content site that now generates over 2 billion pageviews per month. The site thrives on engagement with the average user spending 16 minutes on the site per visit -— which is an incredible statistic from an internet marketing perspective.
The site is made up of ‘subreddits’ which are categories and communities that each have their own topics and rules that govern them. IAMA (stand for I am a…) is a category for people to share about themselves and to allow other Reddit users to ask questions directly to the OP, or original poster. Some other popular IAMA threads include comedians, people with rare medical conditions, professionals offering insight into certain careers, and people living in difficult circumstances. The platform offers a uniquely candid feel which one of the biggest reasons people keep coming back. Users posting the thread are generally encouraged to answer as many questions as possible to help build the community and content base.
President Obama answered generally ‘tame’ questions as compared to others that were submitted on the site, but is impressive nonetheless that he braved the intimidating contingent of Reddit regulars. Below are some of the highest rated answers from the Commander-in-Chief:
It is eye-opening that one Obama’s advisers suggested this and that the president actually took time out of his busy campaign schedule to answer questions. He and his staff recognize that there are more ways to connect to voters than the traditional town square meetings and kissing babies. Essentially, the president’s appearance on Reddit was like a campaign stop in front of millions with each intently focused on every answer that he submitted.
With Reddit’s continued growth it is great to see that the platform is being used to for good. There is a long list of initiatives that have been started on Reddit. From raising $30,000 for a terminally-ill cancer patient to helping fund an orphanage in Kenya, the community has constantly shown that it is more than just cat pictures a memes.
This step into the limelight caused by Obama’s appearance should kick off an exciting time for Reddit. There will undoubtedly be more people and politicians on the site over the next several days. It will be interesting to see if Mitt Romney answers the bell that the Reddit community has already rung to start and IAMA of his own.