Ok, kind of neat from a social media nerd perspective as well as a personal branding perspective. Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein participated in an AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) on the internet forum Reddit.com earlier today to promote a tool he developed that may or may not predict the upcoming presidential election.
Venturing into Reddit can be as dangerous as swimming in shark-infested waters with an open wound. As actor Woody Harrelson (or more likely, a Woody Harrelson flack) found out when he refused to answer any but the most self-promotional questions, do the wrong thing and you will face the wrath of the Internet. Klein seems to have gotten it, though, writing “And let me emphasize that you can ask me about non-model issues. I want to promote my project a bit. But I don’t want to bore people.”
And as promised, he answers all sorts of offbeat questions. Star Wars or Star Trek? “Comic books,” Klein replied. Another redditor asked, “Why does Rachel Maddow go without her glasses for her show, but with her glasses everywhere else?” Klein: “How do you know she’s the same person?”
As Poynter’s Mediawire points out that NYT columnist Paul Krugman is scheduled to do an AMA on May 1.
Klein is the most major media figure we can think of who’s done an AMA in recent months (though two months ago, Neil Strauss, author of The Game, did a successful one). If your industry/specialized knowledge appeals to a broad base of 20-something males, consider hopping over to the /r/iAMA forum and try your own hand at answering questions. We are talking a billion PVs a month here.