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The Ultimate AMA: Barack Obama To Do Q&A With Reddit Today

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, August 29 2012

Barack Obama's verification photo, proving that he's involved in an "Ask Me Anything" on Reddit Wednesday.

Barack Obama will be taking questions on Reddit in an IamA, as in, "I'm Barack Obama, President of the United States. Ask me anything."

A moderator of IamA subreddit posted to say that the post is confirmed as coming from President Obama.

In holding an IamA — in which the OP, or "original poster," puts himself at the mercy of the fickle tastes of Reddit's quizzical community — Obama joins other politicians, including Rep. Darrell Issa, authors like James Fallows and Ta-Nehisi Coates, comedians like Louis C.K., and other notable figures.

Reddit IamAs can go one of two ways for participants: People who play along, speaking the language of Reddit (GIFs, meme images, and humor do well), delivering straight answers and acknowledging the questions that are obviously foremost on the crowd's mind, generally do well. People who duck hard questions or stay relentlessly "on message" when that involves avoiding topics that Redditors want to hear generally spend the next few days getting flamed in various forums on the site, which claims 1.6 million logged-in Redditors just yesterday and almost 40 million unique visitors last month.

The Obama campaign has demonstrated remarkable aptitude when it comes to adapting its messaging for each online community it tries to engage. This should be fun to watch, if it works; I can hear a few howls in techPresident HQ as it appears that Reddit is breaking under the strain of interest in this event.

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