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Reddit: Ask Me Anything sessions can go anywhere, like it or not

A Q&A might have surprised Woody Harrelson, but others, including Ken Jennings, have found it beneficial.

March 11, 2012|By Randee Dawn, Special to the Los Angeles Times

"People who only know how to be a persona — who want to tell the 'movie star story' — you won't want to do it," said "Burn Notice" and "Evil Dead" star Bruce Campbell, who held an AMA last year. "If they ask me about my personal life? I say, 'None of your business,' and move on."

Other sites like AnyAsq.com, entirely based on crowd-sourced interviews, haven't really caught on in a big way, and part of the problem is that those most likely to read and participate in AMAs are fairly marketing-resistant. Others, like Redditor Brenden Sherratt, who does social media and online marketing for Sortable.com, worry about success spoiling either the AMA format or Reddit itself.

"Digg became so popular that the quality of its content dropped. Big companies were using it to promote everything from toothbrushes to new movies," he said. "But when Woody was on, the community basically said, 'If you're just going to advertise to us, we're not going to take that.'"

Hardwick puts it more succinctly: "The shark could have jumped on the Woody interview, but Reddit prevailed. Reddit kicked the shark in the face."

calendar@latimes.com

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