Tuesday, January 31, 2006

score threshold added, google toolbar adds an alien

You asked for it... some of you may have noticed a new preference "don't show me sites with a score less than [#]" that should clean up your screen a bit.

We also got a pleasant surprise from the folks at Google, who just released a new Google Toolbar feature: custom buttons. The cool part was that they made us a reddit button to release to you all (thanks, Othman!). You'll need to snag the beta version of the Google Toolbar here (unfortunately, it's only working on IE right now) and download reddit.com.xml.

To install, just save reddit.com.xml to the following directory on your computer: C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Custom Buttons (you may need to turn on "show hidden files & folders" in your folder settings to make these visible -- feel free to email if you need help)

Steve should have a real update for you soon, but in the meantime, this slick button may be a good enough reason to dust off Internet Explorer... well, maybe not (don't worry, the Firefox version will be out sooner or later).

Thursday, January 26, 2006

an open letter from management

It has been a turbulent week, with various aliens picking up the slack as negotiations took place, but we have finally reached a resolution. Some concessions were made, but we are confident that our arrangement is quite fair and in the best long-term interests of our users.

While we respect the grievances of our briefly alienated alien mascot, we hope that it will choose less distracting channels to voice them in the future. With this labor dispute resolved, we hope to put all of this unpleasantness behind us and restore some normalcy to the upper left-hand corner of our website.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

on strike

With the recent Sago Mine Tragedy, our major media has begun to focus (albeit briefly) on the sorry state of workplace safety in America. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), emergency rooms treat 3.6 million occupational injuries each year. And while the government doesn't break out the data for mascots, it's clear that it's a dangerous occupation. Just in the past couple months, I've been trapped in a frame, strangled and eaten by a Python, been buried by a penguin, sledded into a sign, gotten electrocuted, been rolled up in a snowball, been floated up into the air, and almost got crushed by a falling sign.

That's not to mention the dangers of the lifestyle the job requires. There's the halloween candy, the late hours, the coffee dependence, the time away from my family, and the heavy drinking. According to a 2004 study, 62% of Americans said their workload had increased in the past six months and 53% said it left them feeling "overtired and overwhelmed". Employees at modern technology companies often find themselves working 85 hours a week; at startups it's far worse. Of course it's not surprising that we've lost the heritage of the 40 hour work week that working people fought for through unions -- modern America is barely unionized. Even though we suffers from serious safety issues and overwork, Americans want to think of themselves as middle class and thus see unions as inappropriate. In his book After The New Economy, Doug Henwood quotes an employee of Sony saying, "I was only half-joking when I went around asking my fellow engineers if they'd be willing to join a union." Henwood asks, "Why is that a joke? Are unions only for truck drivers?"

It is one thing to talk about these issues, but there will be no changes without action. Starting today, I've joined the Internet/Web Workers of the World (IWWW) and am going on strike, effective immediately. Perhaps my small struggle will not make a big difference in the scheme of things, but I hope it will be an example for you all.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

for those of you with a private office...

We've added a new Not Safe For Work section to reddit today. Anything goes here, enjoy. We'll be playing around with more of these sub-sections to reddit in the future. Should be fun.

Also, we've added RSS links to the submitted/liked/disliked/comments listings in your profile. In order to make your likes/dislikes available via RSS, you need to make these listings viewable to the public by checking "make my votes public" in your preferences page.


After a pair of great introductions, I just couldn't resist making an appearance. As you can see, I'm very excited to be here (and that is a light saber in my pocket. Thanks for asking.)

Like spez said, the recommendations should be getting progressively smarter over the next couple of days, with recent and more relevant articles. Faster too...once I finish porting the code over from Python to Fortran, which I think we can all agree is the Only Real Programming Language [for inverting matrices] having achieved perfection in 1977 [a year before I was born]....

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

invisible changes

Over the last week we've been working on some pretty major changes to the underbelly of reddit. While this week's updates should be basically transparent (of course, let us know if something isn't quite right), it means a lot of new cool features are on the way.

Check out the recommendations page. Chris, the new guy, has been working hard on the recommendations engine and it should be getting a little smarter every day. Have a peek, and let us know what you think.

the force is strong in this one

Steve and I have been sharing this Cambridge apartment with a friend of ours since the beginning of September, he's a physicist by day and a hacker by night, but as of today he is also officially part of team reddit (we figured that since there's now more than 2 of us, we qualify as a "team." Hopefully, this will turn out better than the club volleyball team we fielded back at UVA -- I can still hear Steve's curses echoing in my head). Welcome to party, Chris (aka KeyserSosa).

I think he'll have an update for you all in a little bit... unless he's just been using those Jedi mind tricks on me again.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

minor changes, an explanation, and thanks

In response to your feedback, we've uploaded some changes to the reddit bookmarklet set. Now, you'll find a "reddit this" button that will take you to a submit page if the link has not been submitted, or if it has, will take you to the comments page to let you comment or share it to your heart's content.

Please update your toolbar accordingly, it will thank you.

Also, I wanted to personally explain the rationale for Monday's logo -- the mascot was indeed dressed as a football player (for all of our international redditors, I know that there is only one true football [and the USA's version isn't it] but please humor me). Our favorite team won in the first round of the NFL playoffs this past weekend (and we're not sure they'll still be in it next week) so we thought we'd celebrate it while we could.

Don't worry, there'll be a World Cup logo sometime this summer.

Oh, and you may also have noticed some changes to the FAQ; a number of you helped us out with this. We're still planning to expand our 'help' section, but this should help in the short-term. Also, a little while ago, a user suggested that we sell our reddit gear at a minor profit as opposed to none at all... as counter-intuitive as it seemed at the time, we've actually started getting sales as a result -- thank you!

Monday, January 02, 2006

new year, renewed vigor

Recharged and refreshed, Steve and I just got back from some quality time with our respective families and loved ones (so please forgive us for being a little slow to respond to the most recent feedback and questions).

We’d like to wish you all a happy new year as well as thank you for the continued support that you’ve given us – we’ve got some big plans for '06 and we think you'll be pleased.