"I'm really fond of cats," Ask Me Anything
Any middling Internet wanderer will probably tell you Reddit’s live interview section, r/IAmA, is one of the best reasons to read the social news site. Where else can you go toe-to-toe with an award-winning astrophysicist one day and a porn makeup artist the next?
What makes r/IAmA good, especially recently, are some pretty stringent requirements that must be met to avoid having moderators delete your post. Specifically, you’re supposed to post about “something uncommon that played a central role in your life” or about “a truly interesting or unique event.” (The section suggests climbing Mt. Everest as a suitably interesting experience.)
But what if you really just want to shoot the metaphorical shit? Not everyone has climbed Mt. Everest, after all—or even the hill outside their house.
Well, now there’s a place for that too. It’s called r/casualiama (“casual IAmA”).
At r/casualiama, you really don’t need to be anyone—or be doing anything—special to qualify for an interview. You basically just need to exist.
“Congratulations,” the subreddit declares in its sidebar, “you automatically qualify for a free IAmA! Anything goes ... Even if it's an AMA about your mom's lasagna.”
Some choice selections so far include:
“I have a pulse. Ask me anything you've ever wanted to ask another human;” “I'm really fond of cats;” and “IAMA scottish person in the worst wind i've seen.” (“[D]on’t know if this is interesting or not,” the self-doubting Scotsman wrote; “fart joke,” replied redditor sheep_shagger.)
Observed redditor kaymeow in another section of the site: “Sounds like it's just going to turn into a place for people who get bored and decide to [make] an AMA about how their day was.”
That appears mostly true. Still, some interesting conversations have also floated to the top, including a post by a lucid dreamer and a guy with a so-called “fat fetish” (“among other perversions” he wrote).
Regardless, all the inane posts are actually a good thing, because it shows why the subreddit actually serves an important purpose: It’s a dumping ground for inane topics.
Reddit continues to grow an astonishing pace. In its sixth year, the site nearly doubled its monthly page views from over 900 million in January 2011 to nearly 2 billion. Its user base of millions have vastly different ideas about what constitutes quality and what constitutes an annoying waste of time.
The site deals with this growth through the subreddit system—any Reddit user can create a subreddit about any topic. The moderators of r/IAmA realized this and actually promoted r/casualiama over the weekend. Rather than sweep in and delete inane posts that don’t meet r/IAmA’s standards, moderators can now save everyone a headache and direct them elsewhere.
Nothing wrong with that.
Photo by Colin_K