A Short Introduction to Reddit

Posted in Social Media, Web Design3 years ago • Written by 12 Comments

Reddit is a social bookmarking website owned by Conde Nast. It has over 1 billion page views monthly and has more than 600 thousand registered users. It is a multi-channeled website where almost everything that can be talked about has its own channel. Reddit is a place where professionals and experts of different fields of technology and sciences gather and discuss content they find on the internet. It is a place filled with both serious topics and humor.

Many of the current users migrated from Digg when they changed their site design, like what happened to the Gawker network.

Last April Fools Reddit admins introduced Reddit Mold which ran for a whole day. Redditors sent molds to other users, and the user who got “molded” was banned from using specific letters. The more molds, the more letters were disabled. Many Redditors resorted to using Braille. So I guess that gives you an overview of how Reddit works. The design is not that great, but that’s what makes it great.

Terms you need to know

AMA –  Ask Me Anything

TL;DR –  (Too long; didn’t read) Followed by a summary of what has just been said. Some, if not many, love TL;DR versions of stories/comments because it saves time, or saves the Redditor from reading a very long text.

Redditor –  users of Reddit. But the term is loosely defined as someone who is actively engaged in the community. A Redditor loves bacons and narwhals and believes that France is Bacon. I’m pathetic, I’ve just inserted a joke that people who don’t know what Reddit is might not understand.

Lurker –  a person who spends some time on Reddit on a recurring basis but does not actively join in on conversations.

Upvote/downvote –  Reddit’s version of voting submissions and comments. Upvote is colored orange, downvote is blue. This determines whether your submission will see the front page (which most Redditors would kill for) or not.

Karma –  refers to points from the upvotes.

Orangered –  it is that envelope just beside your username. When someone replies to your comment or on your self-posts that envelope changes its color from white to orange…or red, somewhere in between red and orange. How to use this term: “Oh, I have an orangered!” For forever alone Redditors this is a very exciting thing to happen, because, finally, somebody noticed them.

Ralph –  I’m not entirely sure if this refers to one person who has a very bad taste when spamming using his/her Blogger accounts or a collective term for spammers that leads to websites full of ads. You get the idea, Ralph is a spammer, he spams to earn revenue through ads that pay per page view. You don’t want to be called one if you’re a marketer.

Reddiquette –  guidelines for using Reddit properly.

NSFL – (Not Safe For Life) usually seen on titles of submissions which are not for the faint of heart. Submissions with the NSFL tag mostly contain gore and extreme violence. It is important to note for first time users that adding a tag means typing it manually on the title.

NSFW – (Not Safe For Work) same with NSFL, but submissions with this tag are things that you wouldn’t want people at work see on your screen. Usually used for mature content.

Subreddit

SubredditsThis is something you need to know fully before being able to use Reddit to its full potential, especially when you’re thinking of sharing your content with people. A subreddit is what websites would normally call a category. You can subscribe to different subreddits, your subscriptions to these subreddits will affect what you see on your page. It morphs to whatever you want it to be. But you must be careful about subscribing to many subreddits, because you might end up looking at photos of bacons and narwhals only.

The image on the left is a screencap of my subscriptions, I’m a fan of zombie novels/films so I subscribed to that subreddit.

Famous Subreddits

Over the years there have emerged subreddits built by its users, a couple of them even caught internet media attention. One particular famous subreddit is IAmA (I am a [insert what you are here]). In IAmA, people present themselves to the community for questions that they will answer, there are lots of anonymous IAmA’s and a handful of what we can call celebrities. To give you an idea, the owner of 4chan, creator of jQuery, Mike Rowe, Ken Jennings (74–time Jeopardy! champion) once answered questions from the community. There are still lots of personalities presenting themselves for perusing, see for yourself.

It is pretty hard to come by a good subreddit, sometimes you won’t even know that it existed. To help you with this, future Redditors, here’s MetaReddit.

Is it Safe?

Some website advisors might warn you when you go to Reddit, saying that it is not a safe place for you to visit. There’s a joke floating about saying “Don’t go to Reddit, it gave my PC a virus!” of course, this is only a joke, I haven’t heard of anyone who caught a virus through Reddit. The thing is, to a degree there is a truth in the dangers of browsing Reddit. Imagine a place where people from all walks of life gather and discuss ideas, heckle people, and talk off-topic. That’s how it usually works in a normal day on Reddit. People talk about politics, religion, entertainment, how their cute cats caught malaria, how their dogs can speak ten words, and things that people normally wouldn’t talk about in person. There are also words that are inappropriate for children.

If you’re asking about your anonymity, it is one of the best sites for keeping your identity. How is that? When you register, you are only required to enter your desired user name and password. End. No personal information whatsoever, e-mail is not a requirement. But then again, when you engage in the community and share your personal stories, that’s where you need to be careful when telling specifics about your life because even though the internet is a very large place, it is still that small to pull information from instantly.

Pros and Cons

Remember the latest server problem from Amazon that shut down Quora and Foursquare? Reddit was affected too, and is affected almost every week. For a big website it is indeed record-breaking to have incidents.

Sometimes, Reddit is too trusting about people. There has been an issue about people pretending to have cancer and that they’re pulling the plug soon, registering on Reddit to give the chance for the community to ask anything. People ask for anonymity and in return there are still people who will try to ruin the community’s trust, that is a bad thing. That’s the very reason why we can’t have good things from the internet, because people are sometimes too self-obsessed. Okay, that’s more of a personal note but you get the point.

It is important to note that Reddit can be addictive. For people who crave lots of information, this place is heaven. However, many Redditors who are students and are already working find their productivity damaged by the website. I am a little guilty of this, and I sometimes thank Reddit when it’s down.

A good thing is you can actually seek advice from professionals here. There are lots of web designers that can help you with trivial questions. The last time I checked, there are even rocket scientists!

Is Reddit a Place to Advertise your Product?

They have a system called “sponsored link” which rotates every page load, cost is not that high, for as low as $20 your text ad will be placed in a targeted audience. For people who’d rather not spend bucks, submitting links to specific subreddits MIGHT work.

Head

A good thing about ads on Reddit is that advertisers can interact with the readers through the comments. There are startups that have engaged with Reddit and further improved their performance because of the critics and suggestions laid before them. Since Redditors are mostly anonymous users, they won’t hold back and you’ll get real feedback, not “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” type of feedback.

This one is quite hard to answer, as previously mentioned there are things called “subreddits” which is Reddit’s term for categories.

Ralph is a name generally attributed for blogspammers, those who submit links directed to their blogs with advertisements that pay per page view. Reddit hates that, and they are reported to the moderators for removal. Well, you might wonder what’s wrong with having ads? The thing is, Ralph creates Blogger pages and uploads stolen content, and for whatever reason these people seem to have found a way to circumvent Google Ads.

For websites and blogs, if your main purpose is to generate revenue based on page views then this is not a good place to market. Again, Reddit loves intriguing and quality content, things that make procrastinating worth it.

Like Digg, hitting the front page or the second page will bring great traffic to your website. Of course it’s not easy to hit the front page because you need votes to do that. There have been marketers who’ve created several accounts just to upvote a submission, which by the way is very obvious for Redditors. Never ever do that, Redditors know when they’re being played at (at least to a certain degree) and they will hate you for that and be downvoted to oblivion.

Comments like “this website boosted my productivity, I recommend it!” and “I’ll be sure to pass this along my friends!” are too cliché, very obvious and won’t see the light of day.

There is nothing wrong with marketing your product on Reddit, but if you ever decide to, please be sure to post it on the correct subreddit and be sure that the quality is worth visiting, it should be entertaining or very critical. One thing marketers should also take note of is that gaming the system will only give you momentary success, because when people find out that you’re gaming them…

On another note, see The Oatmeal’s guide on Reddit’s Self-Serve Advertising.

Breeding Ground for Creativity

Over the years a couple of startup companies have emerged from Reddit such as imgur, a tool that lets users upload and share photos. Mostly used by Reddit.

There is a subreddit called Do It Yourself with almost 40,000 subscribers, submissions range from a simple fireplace to an electron microscope.

Months ago I wrote an article titled Is The Art of Handwriting Really Dying? and featured some handwritings by fellow Redditors.

Here’s a subreddit for web designers: /r/web_design

For programmers:  /r/programming

Did I mention that Reddit’s code is available for the public to see and experiment on? If you think you can help make things better, click here.

Novelty Accounts

Novelty accounts are accounts that are made for a specific purpose, mostly to humor and entertain the community. There are many successful Novelty Accounts like Sure_Ill_Draw_That whose mode of commenting is in form of drawings. There are others whose usernames are after celebrities.

TL;DR

Reddit is awesome! (I hope the Reddit gods won’t downvote me to oblivion!)

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Rean is the editor of 1stwebdesigner. He regularly writes about freelancing, technology, web design, and web development. Rean also writes at Knowledge Salad, a blog filled with weird and interesting facts. One of his goals is to help his fellow Filipinos earn money online, to help them build a career out of working from home, just like what he has been doing for years now.

12 Comments Best Comments First
  • Renato Alves

    Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 17:50

    5

    Look man, some icons that usually get leftside is out of place. ;)

    0
  • Warren

    Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 16:50

    4

    Good intro. As a redditor myself, I think you did a really nice job giving an intro to the site for the non-initiated. Me gusta.

    0
  • Klemens

    Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 12:33

    6

    The whole, “Don’t go to Reddit, it gave my PC a virus!” thing is actually a joke designed to deter non-critical thinkers from frequenting the site and thus degrading the quality of its content.

    0
    • Rean John Uehara

      Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 12:35

      1

      I agree, this is commonly seen on YouTube clips that are submitted on Reddit..and other websites where Redditors visit.

      0
  • Ian

    Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 12:59

    7

    God article, I need to start using reddit becasue digg is basically dead. By the way I don’t know if it’s just me, but the social media icons are acting out of place.

    0
    • Rean John Uehara

      Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 13:04

      2

      Hi, for Reddit it is actually weird right now because they’re under maintenance which may last for an hour. Should be fixed once Reddit is back. :)

      0
  • Mr Wong

    Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 09:05

    12

    Thanks, this is a very comprehensive and succinct guide for newbie Redditors like me.

    0
  • Kavya Hari

    Thursday, May 12th, 2011 12:52

    11

    From here, you clearly explained about a Reddit and its advantages as well as disadvantages clearly. Informative post without any doubt. It’s nice :)

    0
  • Richard Stancik

    Thursday, May 12th, 2011 08:03

    10

    Thanks for the overview, I didn’t understand what reddit was about before and this will help me get started. I’ll try to get some good out of reddit in the near future!

    0
  • Bogdan Sandu

    Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 13:03

    8

    You should have also said that reddit’s servers go down at least once a week. Liiike… right about now.

    0
    • Rean John Uehara

      Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 13:07

      3

      I did mention that “For a big website it is indeed record-breaking to have incidents.” I guess I should have said it’s a usual thing.

      0
  • Rocky

    Wednesday, May 11th, 2011 08:55

    9

    I never concentrated on reddit because i don’t like its design and also i heard that it is not good for designing related stuff. anyway thanks for such informative article.

    0
  • Mr Wong

    Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 09:05

    12

    Thanks, this is a very comprehensive and succinct guide for newbie Redditors like me.

    0
  • Kavya Hari

    Thursday, May 12th, 2011 12:52

    11

    From here, you clearly explained about a Reddit and its advantages as well as disadvantages clearly. Informative post without any doubt. It’s nice :)

    0
  • Richard Stancik

    Thursday, May 12th, 2011 08:03

    10

    Thanks for the overview, I didn’t understand what reddit was about before and this will help me get started. I’ll try to get some good out of reddit in the near future!

    0
  • Rocky

    Wednesday, May 11th, 2011 08:55

    9

    I never concentrated on reddit because i don’t like its design and also i heard that it is not good for designing related stuff. anyway thanks for such informative article.

    0
  • Bogdan Sandu

    Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 13:03

    8

    You should have also said that reddit’s servers go down at least once a week. Liiike… right about now.

    0
    • Rean John Uehara

      Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 13:07

      3

      I did mention that “For a big website it is indeed record-breaking to have incidents.” I guess I should have said it’s a usual thing.

      0
  • Ian

    Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 12:59

    7

    God article, I need to start using reddit becasue digg is basically dead. By the way I don’t know if it’s just me, but the social media icons are acting out of place.

    0
    • Rean John Uehara

      Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 13:04

      2

      Hi, for Reddit it is actually weird right now because they’re under maintenance which may last for an hour. Should be fixed once Reddit is back. :)

      0
  • Klemens

    Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 12:33

    6

    The whole, “Don’t go to Reddit, it gave my PC a virus!” thing is actually a joke designed to deter non-critical thinkers from frequenting the site and thus degrading the quality of its content.

    0
    • Rean John Uehara

      Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 12:35

      1

      I agree, this is commonly seen on YouTube clips that are submitted on Reddit..and other websites where Redditors visit.

      0
  • Renato Alves

    Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 17:50

    5

    Look man, some icons that usually get leftside is out of place. ;)

    0
  • Warren

    Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 16:50

    4

    Good intro. As a redditor myself, I think you did a really nice job giving an intro to the site for the non-initiated. Me gusta.

    0

Comments are closed.

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