Temple Grandin #Winning at Reddit

In my last post, I wrote about our team’s Reddit experience. I’ve been planning this follow up post for a while, but it’s been expedited by happy news: we’re up for a Webby for our work here. Please take a minute to vote before the April 23 deadline!


Some excerpts from our entry:


The team facilitated the Grandin AMA on Nov. 17, 2014 and Colorado State publicized the event through its Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ accounts and cross-posted announcements on several other subreddits, including Ask Me Anything, Animal Rights, and Autism. On the date of the event, the Science subreddit moderators posted opening comments from Dr. Grandin’s Reddit account. Over the next few hours, hundreds of questions poured in for Dr. Grandin.


As a land-grant institution, Colorado State University’s mission focuses on teaching, research, service, and extension. Temple Grandin’s Reddit AMA directly contributed to our mission to connect stakeholders with accessible information.

  • Facilitate an authentic digital conversation between Dr. Grandin, CSU rock star faculty member, and the public.
  • Inform the public of Dr. Grandin and the University’s contributions to animal sciences.

Target Audiences

  • Colorado State University faculty, staff, students, and fans. Dr. Grandin is a revered member of the community. Much of CSU’s existing audience knows about Dr. Grandin and her research; however there is still a great deal of curiosity about her life and points of view. The Reddit AMA provided an opportunity for existing audiences to directly interface with her.
  • Temple Grandin’s Fans. Dr. Grandin’s fame reaches far beyond the CSU community and many fans do not recognize Colorado State as her institution. The AMA offered an opportunity to connect with Dr. Grandin while also building public awareness of the institution.


The boldness and coordination required to host the Grandin AMA reaped huge benefits in access and visibility.

  • On Reddit. In the hours after first posting, over 800 fans asked Dr. Grandin questions via Reddit. In total, the AMA received 1,325 comments and 4,188 upvotes, making it the Science subreddit’s most upvoted AMA ever.
  • On supporting platforms. CSU’s own social media posts garnered 1,195 likes and 1,006 shares on Facebook and 2,845 loops on Vine.
  • Online buzz. Dr. Grandin’s AMA also generated substantial online buzz, including media coverage from Forbes, Autism Speaks, and The Daily Beast.