Shortly after a black-clad psycho opened fire in an Aurora, Colorado midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises on Thursday night, killing at least 12 and injuring 50, Reddit users began racing to compile as much information on the tragedy as possible. In the process, the link aggregation giant became a real-time feed of raw data, much of the information accurate, some of it not, all of it published for a fully-engaged and active audience well in advance of any national news outlet. The Future Journalism Project on Tumblr defined it correctly as crowd-sourcing the reportage and noted some of the most organized efforts by Redditors: sequential, linked threads in the /r/news subreddit: Read More
Tomorrow (or maybe Monday, unless Betaworks is really cracking that whip) the work of rebuilding Digg will begin. But today is a day of eulogies. What slew Digg, the once-mighty social site at one time thought to be worth $200 million? The Wall Street Journal points to Twitter and Facebook. This Forbes contributor is pretty sure it was Reddit.
Actually, Redditors are pretty sure that Digg killed Digg.
We popped over to the /r/technology subreddit, where Redditors–many of them self-confessed former Digg devotees–were discussing that Forbes article. Between nostalgic ASCII spam and arguments about Ron Paul, users were pretty much unanimous (or as unanimous as Redditors get) regarding what the site had evolved into. Read More
Yesterday, a Reddit user named “delverofsecrets” posted on the social news site claiming that a homeless man had wordlessly handed him a note on the subway encrypted with some sort of code. The site’s users immediately jumped on it, and one named SirSpam28 cracked it: “It uses the Bifid Cipher as I said before, with a g -> a alphabet translation,” he wrote. Read More
It’s now something of a celebrity rite of passage, as well as a downright pleasant way to while away an afternoon. But while it’s perfectly delightful to see Woody Harrelson faceplant at Q&A, we’ve noticed that there are several interesting requests piling up, just aching to become hours of entertainment. In fact, here are a few Read More
The top-scoring link of all time on the social news website Reddit is a post that users were never meant to see at all. It is titled “test post please ignore,” but almost 27,000 Redditors found it so amusing that they voted it up.
That is testament to the website’s impassioned community—and their brand of dry, often geeky humor (the site’s logo is an alien, after all). But Reddit’s user base, which a recent PBS documentary pegged as 72 percent male, has wide-ranging interests. Other top posts include a link to a news item about the elderly volunteering to clean up nuclear waste in Japan following the 2011 tsunami, and a Q&A session with the famous astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Reddit is one of the country’s most highly trafficked websites, but its general manager, Erik Martin, keeps a remarkably low profile. Most Redditors know the 33-year-old Mr. Martin solely by his username: HueyPriest. Read More
Reddit’s “IAmA” question-and-answer sessions can be thorny territory for celebrities brave enough to wade into the seething, snarking masses. Redditors who catch the scent of bald PR stunts can rhetorically (and gleefully) crap on promotions-friendly scripts and set them on fire. Comedian, author and Expedia.com naked traveler Michael Ian Black has just braved the wilds of the web’s premiere link aggregator and as far as we can tell, survived.
Reflecting on Woody Harrelson’s no-good, very bad Reddit experience a few months ago, Betabeat asked Mr. Black to comment on the session. Read More
The r/Pyongyang subreddit is up to 5,827 comrades. Considering the North Korean government has an official YouTube channel and Twitter page, a Reddit presence seemed vaguely plausible. But what is more plausible is that Redditors, who deeply, passionately love to make fun of North Korea, created a subreddit for more perfect pillorying. A recent article, “Women’s Grand Performance Marks Day of Sun,” got 926 comments, almost all of which have been deleted by the admin.
Ian Burnet, the 22-year-old engineer and Redditor who disappeared in New York City on Dec. 30, is now the center of a full-fledged internet campaign. His Facebook page has 1,800 fans, and his parents have just released a website, FindIanBurnet.com, which includes an anonymous tips email and information about Mr. Burnet. His brother Jamie, a fellow Redditor, posted a thread about Ian on Reddit after five days and another one after ten. Redditors chimed in, pledging to help and suggesting places to check, like mental hospitals and the Phish message board. Read More
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.” Read More
We’re all for innocuous real-life trolling–except when it causes boring blog posts. Awl intern and NYU student Myles Tanzer is not a Redditor, the term used to describe highly active members of the network of variously navel-gazing, lulz-having, marijuana-loving, politics-wonking, prank-plotting, and meme-making forums known for being one of the most positive and genuinely sweet corners of the internet. But he does know one! Her name is Nicole, and she guided him to one of the 160 meetups on Saturday for World Reddit Meetup Day so he could write about the quirky people he met there and get mad page views. Spoiler: Everyone was nice and nothing hurt: