All Tech Considered
Wed August 29, 2012
President Obama Holds 'Ask Me Anything' Session On Reddit
President Obama made news Wednesday by popping onto the Reddit message board site to take any questions the community's users cared to ask. And then he made a bit more news by sparking such interest that the site crashed for a brief period.
"Hi, I'm Barack Obama, President of the United States," he typed around 4 p.m. ET. "Ask me anything. I'll be taking your questions for half an hour starting at about 4:30 ET."
Playing the role of unofficial ambassador, TheAtomicPlayboy responded, "Welcome to Reddit, Mr. President."
Once it began, the online chat engaged more than 30,000 of the site's users, and was viewed by nearly 1.9 million readers, as of 6 p.m. ET.
In all, the president answered about 10 questions. Over at It's All Politics, Greg Henderson runs down the online event's political angles.
One questioner asked the president to reveal the White House's beer recipe. As we've reported earlier, President Obama has arranged for homebrewed beer to be produced in the White House, and he's such a fan of the brew that he brings it along on his campaign bus. Since then, beer fans have requested that the recipe be made public.
"It will be out soon!" the president wrote. "I can tell from first hand experience, it is tasty."
The president did not respond to a followup by Door_Knob, who asked, "how can I get a bottle?
This being Reddit, some of those who responded to the president's call to "ask me anything" left questions that no politician, and very few family men, would answer in a public forum.
Others were skeptical of the entire exercise, refusing to believe the veracity of an image that showed President Obama sitting at a laptop. And one user was glad the username "PresidentObama" was available — so that one of the most powerful people on Earth wouldn't be "reduced to taking a username like TheRealPresidentObama or POTUS69 or xx_BarackObama_xx or something."
Others suggested that the president might find himself pining to return to the online community, where he would be free to make sarcastic comments on the doings of the Internet.
"I guess this was a good time for his presidency to end," commented StairwayToTruth, "because now he'll be stuck on Reddit forever!"