We consulted Cambridge (MA) City Councillor Nadeem Mazen and his staff on the planning and execution of a reddit AMA.
Councilor Nadeem stated a strong desire to experiment with methods of online civic engagement. He specifically wanted to engage the citizens of Boston and Cambridge to generate feedback about current policies and problems in the Cambridge community.
There were two possible subreddit candidates for Nadeem’s AMA – r/Boston and r/CambridgeMA. r/Boston has significantly more users than r/CambridgeMA and is a closely related community. We decided that r/Boston would be the best way to engage citizens in the Cambridge area and generate the most feedback.
We worked closely with Nadeem and his team to create an AMA title and body that grabbed the attention of the subreddit. The copy also introduced Nadeem to the audience and clearly explained the purpose of his AMA.
We helped Nadeem pick a date and time for his AMA that worked with his schedule and took advantage of reddit’s high-traffic hours. A message for the moderators of r/Boston was written for Nadeem to notify them of his intent to hold the AMA in their community.
A preview of the AMA was created using easyAMA.co. This allowed Nadeem to view his AMA to see what it will look like when it is posted to reddit. The AMA was also submitted using the easyAMA app, which ensures the AMA copy is submitted exactly as drafted.
Nadeem had a successful AMA that accomplished the goals set forth at the beginning of the project. Numerous policy orders and constituent meetings arose from the AMA. The AMA was a top 10 submission of the week in r/Boston and generated a total of 198 comments. The overall response from the r/Boston community was positive and appreciative.
Here are a few notable comments:
I was incredibly impressed by the insight shown by the questions and by the volume of questions from the local subreddit and the incredibly cooperative and collaborative attitude that people agreed and disagreed within the discussion. I’d definitely like to work with GroupSRC again to engage constituents.”
I was surprised that so many people interested in Cambrdige politics were on reddit…There was a lot of people that we hadn’t touched before. The questions were atypical from what we usually see in traditional communication methods.”
This AMA was a huge success and a great proof of how effective reddit can be for civic engagement. This AMA allowed Nadeem Mazen to efficiently discuss a wide range of issues with thousands of citizens.
Are you interested in holding your a reddit AMA? Contact us.
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