1. What is an AMA?

Basically, an AMA is a thread where redditors can interview people, in a public and interactive way. "AMA" is an acronym that means "Ask Me Anything". The interviewee begins the process by starting a post, describing who they are and what they do. Then, commenters leave questions and can vote on other questions according to which they would like to see answered. The interviewee then goes through and responds to any questions that he/she would like, and in any way that he/she prefers. Because /r/IAmA is oriented towards a more generic audience we want to provide the opportunity on /r/History to host AMAs that are aimed at a our readers specifically.

2. Can I do an AMA on /r/History?

Contact the moderators with your request. Once you have provided sufficient proof of your identity, they will schedule you for an AMA on /r/History.

3. What constitutes "proof"?

Our users want to be sure that you are actually telling the truth. We prefer that the proof is posted publicly whenever possible. However, if your proof must remain confidential, simply include it in your message to the mods.

An example of good proof would be a message on a website or twitter feed that only the real person or organization would have control over. If you are going to use your official social media site, please include the username you will be using and/or link to the AMA once you have posted it. This will ensure that no one can pose as you! Moderators may ask for more proof if they deem it necessary. Remember, all posts without proof will be removed.

4. How will I get scheduled?

We usually schedule AMAs at least 24 hours in advance of the actual AMA. This ensures that we can post an announcement on the subreddit so that plenty of people will see it and can think of questions in advance. This also gives you a chance to make an account, which will allow you to get acquainted with the format of Reddit and its comment threads, and so you can receive the permission of unlimited posting on the subreddit in advance.

As for the actual date and time of the AMA, it's all up to you. In general, weekdays are busier than weekends, and evenings are busier than mornings, so do take that into account. AMAs can last from one hour to a whole day; just let people know in the description of your AMA for how long you will be answering their questions.

5. How do I do an AMA?

  • Step #1:

    Go to the subreddit /r/History

  • Step #2:

    In order to post your thread you must “submit a link”. On the top right of the subreddit page, you should see two buttons. One of which is a blue button titled “Submit a new text post”. Or you can use this link: /r/History/submit?selftext=true

    The moderators suggest that you post your thread link no more than 10-20 minutes prior to your schedule AMA time. This is more than enough time for redditors to start populating the thread with questions. Then, when you’re ready to start, you can jump right in to answering questions. Also, this is helpful for social media sharing / promotion –- you need the actual thread link to be live to direct followers to the AMA.

  • Step #3:

    Now you’ll need to fill out your thread.

    Title: “I’m XXX and I'm an XXX. AMA!” is a good way to start out. Feel free to elaborate and/or personalize.

    Text: This is the additional content/information that redditors will see once they enter the thread. Include promotional information, more details about who you are, etc. This is also a good place to put your verification/proof. This section can be edited at any time. When you're about to leave, you might want to add a sign-off message.

    Please don't use link shorteners here, because the spam filter hates them and will remove your post.

    Choose a subreddit: If you clicked the link I provided above in Step #2, you won’t have to edit anything. It should say History and that’s what you want it to say.

    Are you Human?: Please submit the check to verify you’re a real person.

    Done! Click Submit!

  • Step #4:

    Go back to the new queue of the main subreddit page to see that your thread is live: /r/History/new

  • Step #5:

    Click your live link thread when you’re ready to start answering questions. Hopefully there will be questions waiting for you. It’s important to reply directly to questions – that way others can follow the AMA properly. When you see a question in the thread look directly below it and hit “reply”. That will allow you to answer that person’s question directly and your answer will fall directly below it.

    Continue this process throughout the thread. You can answer whichever questions you’d like and you can ignore any that you don’t want to respond to.

  • Step #6:

    Once you’ve completed your AMA you can edit your text to leave a sign-off message.

    Still confused? Send the moderators a message and ask for help!

6. What makes a good AMA?

  • Organize it well in advance. Send a message to the mods!

  • Start off right. Bland titles that aren't the least bit descriptive don't work well.

  • Time your AMA. Don't start right away; wait a few minutes for bad questions to filter down and good questions to filter up.

  • Answer based on upvotes. Questions with many upvotes are the ones people want to see answered mostly.

  • Refresh the comments page every so often to see what questions get upvoted.

  • Try to be concise. An answer of one line is not enough most of the time, but six paragraphs is too long.

  • See what responses you get to answers and go from there. Try to follow up as much as you can.

  • Customize and personalize your answers. Generic stock answers are boring.

  • Have fun. :)

revision by TonyQuark— view source