Alexis Ohanian Talks About the Power of Digital Influence

I recently had an opportunity to sit down and have a chat with Alexis Ohanian (@alexisohanian).  He’s the co-founder of reddit, one of the most popular social news platforms on the Internet. The site boasts approximately 42.9 million unique visitors for 2012.  Ohanian’s goal is to make the world suck less.

We met up at the Marriott Long Wharf Hotel’s Marriott MeetUp: Five Startups to Watch, hosted by Ohanian.  The Marriott Hotel and Resort chain is teaming up with WIRED Magazine and holding several events across the U.S. called the Culturazzi Series.

The tweet-up that occurred after the panel discussion was full of energy and excitement.
During our chat Ohanian talked about how, through the many online tools available, the Internet has evolved to allow anyone in the world to build influence and raise awareness for humanitarian causes. People didn’t have access to anything like this before. Now, the power and reach of social media has transformed our ability to promote and raise money for charities and nonprofits.
The Internet provides great potential and promise for those who want to let their creative colors fly and make a difference in the world.
I questioned Ohanian about the state of social media and how reddit will continue to evolve with the rapidly changing digital landscape this year and beyond 2012:
“reddit offers such a great platform for people from all facets of life to promote themselves, their causes, and their visions,” Ohanian explained. He mentioned that President Obama used reddit to connect with the digital generation. Because of this, he’s getting far more of the mainstream exposure he needs than ever before.  The fact that our President would even have an interest in truly engaging with the reddit community shows that even politicians and celebrities have begun to notice the rapidly growing influence of the community.
He also pointed out that reddit helped defeat the very unpopular bills, SOPA and PIPA. Clearly, the Internet giant he has created has much more to do as a global force of influence, and can prove critical to protecting the freedoms to those of us who work on the Internet.
What does a guy like Alexis Ohanian do in his spare time? Well, I asked him.  His answer? He loves to spend time with his cat.

With Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian at Marriott MeetUp: Boston Long Wharf. #Culturazzi
With Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian at Marriott MeetUp: Boston Long Wharf. #Culturazzi
Overall, I found him very approachable and easy going.  He’s writing a book, titled Without Your Permission, which will be available in 2013.  I am very excited about reading the book and can truly recommend an eye out for his book.
I love his vision and the way he sees the power of the Internet so clearly – that anyone who has the passion and the drive can create great changes in the global community.
I was compensated for this post. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.
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12 Replies to “Alexis Ohanian Talks About the Power of Digital Influence

  1. “The power and reach of social media has transformed our ability to promote and raise money for charities and nonprofits…” This is awesome! So excited to hear such an influential leader encouraging the use of digital media to make a positive contribution. As a blogger (creativequince.com) and graduate student in digital media, I’m learning how these new platforms can be used to support artists and crafters using their talents to promote nonprofits and community enrichment, and I look forward to reading his book–I’m sure it’ll provide a great deal of insight into how “anyone who has the passion and the drive can create great changes in the global community.” Thanks for the great post!

  2. His vision “to make the world suck less” is pretty simple and quite a quote! And he gets extra points for caring about using his own influence with reddit for social good.

    Nice to read this interview Ann.

    Every year there are new and exciting social technologies that are propelling humanity in ways unimaginable a few years ago.

    1. Hi Patricia,

      It was a wonderful opportunity to meet and speak with Alexis Ohanian. Yes, he definitely gets extra points for the social good factor.

      Ann

  3. I was hooked at “Ohanian’s goal is to make the world suck less” and “He loves to spend time with his cat.” 🙂 Another great post, Ann. I wish Mr. Ohanian and Reddit great future success and I look forward to reading his book “Without Your Permission”.

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