President Obama Visits the Virtual Community of Reddit
President Obama is now on Reddit, taking questions on an Ask Me Anything Thread. (You can see his responses on his Reddit account "President Obama" here.) This is a landmark in Internet culture, the most prominent appearance of a real world person in a pseudonymous, virtual community driven by virtual rewards -- in this case, Upvotes and Karma. (Past milestones include Governor Mark Warner visiting Second Life in 2006 when he was a Presidential hopeful). Last January, I wrote about Reddit's growing influence over social media sites for Internet Evolution, and while I'm hardly the first or most prominent person to suggest this, I ended the essay with these words:
I'll be very surprised if President Obama and his GOP rival don't take their cases to Reddit -- while advocates of social media helplessly wonder why so many people have shifted their energies to a virtual community far from the din of context-less Tweets and the restrictions of real-name Facebook postings.
Mitt Romney, the virtual ball is in your court.