Barack Obama to Reddit: ‘Ask me anything’

30 Aug 2012

What do Stan Lee, Molly Ringwald, Graham Linehan and Barack Obama have in common? They’ve all participated in a Reddit AMA, a forum on the self-professed ‘front page of the internet’ where users are invited to ‘Ask Me Anything’.

That’s right. The US president spared 30 minutes out of his busy schedule to participate in an open Q&A with Reddit users online yesterday.

Following the rules of the IAmA thread, Obama provided proof of his presence via a tweet from his official Twitter account (signed ‘-bo’ to denote that it came from the man himself and not a member of his campaign staff) and an image of himself at a laptop, ready to chat.

Obama Reddit AMA tweet

The popularity of such a high-profile visit to the site saw it struggle under the increased volume, but overall the AMA has been deemed a success for Reddit.

Social media-savvy

Obama, who is currently campaigning for a second term in the Oval Office, logged on following a campaign rally in Charlottesville, Virginia – the state where Reddit was born. Questions posed ranged from the political to the personal, to asking about the recipe for the White House’s beer.

No stranger to social media, the US president has previously made us of Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to get his message out.

“I want to thank everybody at Reddit for participating,” he wrote in his last update. “This is an example of how technology and the internet can empower the sorts of conversations that strengthen our democracy over the long run.”

Romney’s Twitter take-over

Not to be outdone in the social media stakes, Obama’s Republican rival Mitt Romney has reportedly bought a national trending topic on Twitter – the first time a political campaign has done so. The paid-for topic will appear as a sponsored trend in the US tonight, the final night of the Republican National Convention.

However, Romney will have to up his social media game in order to outdo the current president, whose thoughts on the Reddit experience overall were, “NOT BAD!”

Obama 'Not Bad' rage face

Referencing your own rage face meme? Now that’s a web-savvy president.

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic