reddit co-founder visits; get tickets here
Dubbed the “Mayor of the Internet” by Forbes, and one of the greatest believers of the Internet’s democratic potential, reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian will visit Wesleyan on Thursday, December 5 as part of a 77-college book tour to promote his new book, Without their Permission. With a 140 character limit, he describes himself as:
Ohanian is now part of the NYC tech scene and extols the idea that “all links are created equal,” which means that this AMA (ask me anything) with Amanda Palmer ’98 and her husband is on the same level as the AMA with Heemz ’07. But mostly, this means that Ohanian believes people can do awesome things together when they use the right platform effectively.
In 2011, Ohanian was involved with the Internet activism against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Cyber Intelligence & Sharing Protection Act (CISPA). Ohanian was invited to speak in front of Congress and subsequently asked the reddit community what he should say in his testimony. When reddit blacked out its home page in protest on January 18, 2012, Wikipedia and Mozilla followed suit, and Google posted a link to a page protesting the piracy bills. Afterwards, legislators were barraged with 10 million petition signatures, 8 million calls, and 4 million e-mails.
Ohanian’s new book is a lot about “harnessing the power of the web for good,” and along the way, he shares his philosophy about entrepreneurship. In a teaser for the book, he had more to say about this (and to Stephen Colbert), in the eloquent, hyped up way I imagine a successful 30 year old tech start up philanthropist to sound like:
I want everyone to know the power of this platform [the Internet], for activism, for philanthropy, for the arts. There is so much potential, there is so much already happening, and so much more to come. I want this book to be a blueprint, as well as a little bit inspirational as you find your way through this new Internet age. Because the Internet is both the world’s greatest library and stage and I want to make sure everyone gets on board and is equipped with all the right tools.
The event at Wesleyan is called Lunch with Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian: How to Make the World Suck Less. Ohanian will chat with Peter Frank ’12, founder and CEO of Texts.com, about startups, creativity, and freedom of information. There will be pizza, a Q&A, and a book signing. Wesleying will also live-blog the event and write about what it’s like to follow Ohanian around for a day. Space is limited and registration is required.
Questions should be submitted in advance through the Wesleyan subreddit (because apparently we have one and it is a gem in itself, although it’s infrequently posted on). Tickets can be purchased here for $10, which includes lunch AND a choice of hard copy or ebook. If you need free or reduced priced tickets, contact here. No refunds.