Reddit at the Raikes School
Heads turned and necks craned Friday afternoon as the blue and red bus and souped-up hot rod rumbled through the streets of Lincoln and onto the campus of the University of Nebraska. In a purely superficial sense, the Internet 2012 Bus Tour had achieved one of its primary objectives — getting people to take notice — merely by rolling into town. Of course, the Tour seeks to bring attention to more than just its convoy of unusual automobiles. With a campaign-style road trip through the heart of the country, reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and general manager Erik Martin are out to raise awareness about the importance of the Open Internet. In 2008, the bus was The Straight Talk Express that ferried passengers John McCain and Sarah Palin along the campaign trail. This year, it's providing transport for Ohanian, Martin and a small group of tech and startup aficionados and embedded journalists. As soon as the bus stopped at UNL, its passengers set straight to talking with students and faculty at the Jeffrey S. Raikes School about the intersection of software, the Open Internet and higher education. Ohanian and Martin sat down with Dr. David Keck, the school's executive director, and a small group of students for a conversation about the Raikes School's cross-disciplinary curriculum (left). Student Caitlin Bales said working on one of the school's Design Studio projects has helped teach her the skills needed to launch a business while also providing something of a safety net. "If we fail, we learn from our mistakes and we're still students," she said. Ohanian encouraged the students to remain unabashed about building businesses after they graduate. "Don't ever become timid about that," he said, "because that's part of what makes our industry so awesome."
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