Asking anything: the power of Reddit

17 November 2014| by Bill Hinchen

Reddit is a collection of hundreds of forums – or subreddits – that cover almost every conceivable interest, is termed, ‘the front page of the internet’, and with millions of unique visitors every month, it has become the go-to source of news and information for many.

reddit stats

One of the most popular areas of Reddit, one that’s featured the likes of celebrity A-listers like Harrison Ford, through to journalists, scientists and even Buzz Aldrin, is the AMA (Ask Me Anything) subreddit, /r/IAmA/. With over 6 million subscribers, the AMA area is a chance to engage with a huge variety of people, and an opportunity to really learn something about an otherwise inaccessible figure or group.

As an ex-scientist, I love this! It’s sharing and demystifying much of science in a way that has never before been possible beyond public lectures. Recently, engineers and scientists working on NASA’s Kepler and K2 exoplanet hunting missions stepped up to the podium to answer questions.

reddit kepler image

In just a few short days there were close to 1500 comments! Questions ranged from pros and cons of the Kepler mission, to theoretical alien communities, what can the public do to help and which degree should I study to work at NASA.

As you can see, that’s quite a lot of traffic for what many would consider a niche area of interest. It just goes to show that people are interested in the sciences, and more importantly, they’re willing to engage.

So, the next time you have content to share, or a discussion to initiate, think about how you might use Reddit to connect with your target audiences, learn from likeminded experts and share your expertise.