30 Jun 2016

Some thoughts on my recent Reddit AMA

My third Reddit AMA on 9 April 2015 was extremely popular (3,800 upvotes, 2,700 comments, me and Obama) so I expected to have some heavy traffic when I did another on Tuesday, but I was a little disappointed that traffic was slow to pick up and overall activity only a fraction of that "highpoint" 16 months ago.

Although I am willing to consider a loss in traffic due to a decay in my dashing-good looks, it's also possible that other issues mattered. It's thus -- with all due respect to its limits -- that I turned to Google Trends, where we see this:

The peak in that figure? April 4-11 2015! A quick look at the four dates of AMAs shows a correlation of +0.62 between upvotes/ "drought" index (pairs are 687/41, 2873/33, 3798/100 and 717/48). I'm not going to bet my career on 4 data points, but it's still a reminder that people (and politicians) tend to pay attention to policy when events are in the news.*

Anyways, the AMA went well as far as I'm concerned, as I got a lot of interesting questions, was able to reply to everyone (sometimes several times), and got some ideas for improving the Life Plus 2 Meters project. Indeed, I did this AMA mostly to boost that project's presence before we left for vacation, so I can't exactly complain about timing around water crisis, drought, etc. (Yes, I have set up alerts on those terms!)

The top rated comment (and my reply) was:
Besides browsing the other questions, answers and discussion, I also recommend my prologue (at the top of the post), as it gives some useful oversight/introduction to what I do and why I like talking with general audiences.

Bottom Line: You always get something out of a water conversation with curious people :)

* More data: