A tweet from Reddit General Manager Erik Martin pointed us to an especially funny error in the International Business Times today. The online global business newspaper ran a servicey article for the Olds, with definitions of some of the weird acronyms users of the social news site Reddit use to communicate with each other. They were doing so well–they correctly described “TL;DR,” “Karma” and “AMA.”
But then they got to “TIL.”
Today We Learned
Reddit, the wildly successful online community for sharing links, news, memes and beyond, was bought by old media mogul Conde Nast in 2006, back when reddit was more of an indie alternative to Digg. But today Conde relinquishes the reins: reddit is spinning out into an independent company, reddit Inc., under Conde owner Advance Publications, and is looking for a CEO.
So, where do you get one of those, Betabeat asked reddit general manager Erik Martin, a New Yorker who moved to San Francisco for the job a few months ago.
“Sam’s Club,” he said.
Despite butting heads with their old media overlords over things like advertisements for marijuana legalization campaigns, reddit’s traffic has grown more than fifty-fold since the acquisition. But the fast-growing site never quite fit in at Conde, which owns Wired and The New Yorker and has a dubious track record with adjusting to the digital media shift, and the companies started considering a severe adjustment to the relationship more than a few months ago, although Mr. Martin couldn’t place a date on exactly when things got serious. “We’ve always been very vocal about times when we’ve felt restrained by being part of a big huge complicated media company,” general manager Erik Martin told Betabeat from San Francisco. “We have always wanted more independence.”
Reddit’s increasingly popular “IAmA” section–I am a tech blogger, ask me anything–was briefly shut down yesterday after its creator got sick of policing its 465,000 members and the pranksters who pretended to be terminally ill patients or rape victims. “The /r/IAmA that I shut down (until incredable backlash), in my opinion is not that subreddit that I started two year ago,” moderator 32bites wrote. “I feel that the community has been flooded by people who don’t care about it at all …”
“Conde buying Reddit domains… what does it mean???” we gchatted Reddit co-founder and advisor Alexis Ohanian today. “Just that Reddit is taking over the world,” he typed back.
We had speculated that the URL shopping spree meant Conde Nast had some crazy big ambitions for Reddit verticals; sadly, it’s not so. There are no plans for Planet Reddit.
We got the real explanation for Conde Nast’s 285-domain land grab from Reddit general manager Erik Martin: “Just prudence. Much easier to protect them this way, instead of getting them back when spammers set up some site,” he said in an email. “Well, except for reddithockey.com…that’s going to be HUGE!!!”