Reddit.com is a user generator content and news aggregation website. According to Chris Tynski, “Reddit enables the individual, and gives literally anyone who has something interesting enough to say the ability to reach millions. The reality is that Reddit is beginning to shape and influence the world in ways that are only now becoming apparent, bringing a higher order of organization to content online, and allowing for an evolution in the potential of collaboration.”
Here’s a basic rundown of how Reddit works:
- Redditors vote on which stories and discussions are important. The hottest stories rise to the top, while cooler stories sink.
- Comments can be posted on every story on Reddit. Comments add information, context, and humor.
- Anyone can create a community (called “subreddits”). Each subreddit is independent and moderated by a team of volunteers.
- Reddit is open source. Community members are constantly tinkering and contributing features, bug fixes, and translations back to the site.
The high level influence of Reddit is made possible by the unfathomably large number of users the website hosts. Over just the last month Reddit had over 100 million unique visitors from about 200 different countries who viewed over 5 billion web pages. Just yesterday over 3 million users decided to log in to cast over 22 million votes on the quality of a post or comment.
Because of the massive amount of users constantly submitting new content and deciding what is interesting, most stories shared on other social media sites such as Facebook were previously seen by Reddit users. Being ahead of the wave of social media news causes one of the major issues within the Reddit community: it gives them an inflated ego. It can be obnoxious when you are trying to share something with your friends over social media or even in person and a Reddit user tells you that your story is old news or corrects you on details of it. Another issue with the Reddit community is that the down vote button is often used to demote unpopular opinions, such as conservative view points instead of using the down vote button for its intended purpose of reducing visibility of comments that add nothing to the discussion. When dealing with such a large of a group of people it can be difficult to manage them under times of stress. Possibly the biggest tragedy caused by the Reddit community was the speculation of the identity of the Boston Bomber which was picked up by major television news networks. The individual incorrectly identified by Redditors was soon found dead.
Despite these challenges I firmly believe Reddit has an overall positive impact on social media and the world in general. In this article the author gives some of the many reasons of why Reddit is amazing: http://www.blueglassarchive.com/blog/could-reddit-be-the-worlds-most-influential-website/