During these next few months, all eyes will be on the campaigns and candidates running for President Obama’s seat as he defends it for his second term. As they all tour giving speeches to different towns, kissing babies, shaking hands, etc., they are all striving for a connection with the people. Well, this year, the candidates have a new edge. Bill Clinton gained an edge with his smooth saxophone playing on MTV, and now President Obama put himself at the mercy of Redditors around the country for a half hour yesterday during an AMA session (Ask Me Anything) in addition to the other candidates taking over social media.
(photo credit to: theverge.com)
Alexis Ohanian of Reddit had hinted earlier in the day saying there was a special AMA session, and that “there are quite a few redditors at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave and at the campaign HQ – given the prominence of reddit, it’s an easy sell.” (taken from theverge.com) Over the years Ohanian has made many connections with many Whitehouse staff members, which helped setup this special AMA session.
Though President Obama was only on for a half hour, he cause such an influx of traffic on Reddit that most of the people attempting to ask him a question was unsuccessful. Ten thousand people were able to submit questions and while only ten were answered, Obama’s utilization of social media will only help him in the end. President Obama’s presence on Reddit is nothing new, as Reddit’s second most popular post was the one announcing President Obama’s win in 2008.
It’s refreshing to see Reddit being utilized by President Obama, though he is familiar with many different social media outlets. Reddit’s AMA was not the first attempt to connect with the younger groups and those constantly online. President Obama has also been scheduling Google+ hangouts, signed up for Pinterest and Instagram.
President Obama answered many various questions, ranging from funding space programs, juggling a family and the presidency, and the Internet Freedom act. After ten questions President Obama wrapped up the discussion by urging all the Redditors to vote and stated the whole experience was “Not bad.”
Like many politicians during campaign seasons, giving yourself the edge amongst your competition will be the reason why you succeed. President Obama isn’t the only politician getting into social media either. Romney and his team has taken over Twitter! Romney’s team has even acknowledged that Romney himself tweets many thoughts and statements himself.
Bill Clinton had his saxophone during the music video era and now during the social media era President Obama has played it perfectly by giving all those interested an up close and personal look at what it means to be the President, a husband, and father.
We’ll see on November 6th what kind of edge social media will give the candidates, and also see how active everyone will be in the social media spectrum until then as an attempt to connect to the youth and other groups.
Don’t forget to vote!