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.
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.
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.