Wednesday, April 29, 2009

reddit.TV launches: easily flip through (and tweet) the hottest videos online

There's no shortage of new video content online. They rise and fall throughout the day on the reddit front page. But the current front page -- while great for text -- isn't optimal for speeding through a bunch of videos. And that's where reddit.TV comes in.

As soon as you hit reddit.TV, start flipping through the hottest videos on reddit using that big "more video" button on top or change categories to something more your style. See something you like in the thumbnails of upcoming videos? Click to skip ahead.

Every video will pull the reddit headline and a top comment (if it's good enough).

You'll notice one special category in red, it's the hottest TED videos on reddit. Our friends at TED had quite a few videos worth spreading and we're thrilled to be partnered with them for this launch.

Oh, and when you find something you just need to share with someone, click on the little blue bird. Yes, it's our first Twitter integration (once Oprah got it, how could we keep holding out?). Not only will it plug the URL into a pending Tweet window, it will also generate a random sentence to make you look awesome without even trying.

Grab some Cheetos and give it a try. It's a great way to entertain yourself while also winning new followers and admirers.

Reddit.TV was built by one of our very own redditors, tritelife, after he did a bang-up job on redditAll.

Monday, April 27, 2009

[atheism] redditors interview minister turned atheist activist Dan Barker

Dan Barker, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, was kind enough to answer the top questions from [atheism] redditors. Big thanks to Dan for sharing his time.

Dan Barker was a Christian preacher and musician for 19 years, but left Christianity in 1984 and authored the recent book Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists (foreward by Richard Dawkins).

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Q: I'm an avid listener who loves the Freethought Radio podcast you guys do.
So here's my question: I am a young man who grew up in a fairly religious family, and has left the church for purely intellectual reasons, as atheism and evolution are much more tenable of a worldview as opposed to "sky-goddery". However, in regards to my family, I've avoided stirring up controversy by acting like I have merely lost interest in religion and am too apathetic and too busy to stay involved. In truth, I do still have strong interest in the topic of religion, only now from a skeptical viewpoint. What are your thoughts on the way a new atheist in this position should act, and "come out" so to speak?
- s-orbital

Dan Barker:
Dear s-orbital,
Thanks for listening to the show!
I'm all in favor of just "coming out." And why not? We are not the ones with the problem. But, of course, every family is different. There is no way to standardize "coming out," and no way to predict exactly how your own family dynamics will be altered. You have to figure that out.

I was lucky. My parents resisted (gently) at first, but then they eventually became atheists.

The same thing happened with Pastafarian student leader Andrew Cederdahl, at the University of South Carolina. (See the New York Times article this week by Laurie Goodstein that mentions Andrew.) Both of his formerly believing parents also now admit, mainly as a result of their son’s influence, that they are no longer believers.

I wish it were that simple in all families, but I think that is rare. (Dawkins admits this in the Foreword to my new book, Godless.) I think what happened in my case, and Andrew’s case, is that we have a strong-knit loving family who respect and admire each other greatly. My parents were not going to simply “give up” on their son. So the door was open to dialogue. My parents also knew that I was well-meaning and kind, and they respected at first my intentions and finally my conclusions.

I was talking with the Freethinkers of the University of Texas-Arlington, a couple years ago, and one student said he was ready to go home for winter break and tell his parents he is now an atheist (the parents' worst nightmare), but he learned that his little brother had just told his parents that he is gay! He was worried that a "double whammy" would really upset his family. Another student suggested he could say: "Guess what, Mom and Dad. I have good news. I'm not gay!"

So . . . the key is respect. If your family and friends respect you, then it is much easier. If they see you as a threat, or immoral, or disloyal, then it is harder, because you are seen as a liability rather than an asset. Do whatever you can to inspire respect for your actions and your personality before you get into the argument about religion.

I have a few articles online that might help, depending your situation:

Evangelistic Atheism: Leading Believers Astray

How To Talk to a Fundamentalist, Part 1

How to Talk to a Fundamentalist, Part 2

Finally, if your family’s religious views are not causing any real harm, then you don’t want to come on too strong. They see themselves, after all, as the “good guys.” But if their beliefs and practices are causing harm in some way, then as a moral individual you have a responsibility to care enough about them, and the world, to try to minimize that harm. If it is your announced intention to “lessen harm,” then you can hardly be accused of being disrespectful. Such harm might be the church’s treatment of women, or the denial of medical care to children (replacing it with prayer), or the shielding of molesting priests and ministers, or the threat to science in the classrooms, or their fight against equal rights for all (such as gay rights), and so on. These issues are worth fighting about, and if you family happens to be part of the problem, let them know there is a better way, and (hopefully) they will respect you for your moral intentions.
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Q: Losing Faith in Faith is one of my favourite books on Atheism, as it's the only one I'm aware of that takes the perspective of a Christian-turned-Atheist. I relate heavily to everything in your book, and it was a major deciding factor in my own journey from Christian to Atheist.

My question for you is, seeing how well you dealt with evangelism in the church, how can Atheists approach "converting?" I believe that although religion may serve a good purpose in some lives, the world as a whole would be much better off without it as religion can be a major deterent to education, technology, politics, and simple coexistence.

As I see it, the problems facing Atheists when it comes to converting is a lack of organization, as well as the difficulty in having to appeal to reason rather than emotions and desires. How can Atheists evangelize?
- noseham

Dear noseham,

Thanks for the good comments about Losing Faith in Faith. (I have now updated the book, published by Ulysses Press, called Godless, 2008.) But mine is not the only story like that. Hector Avalos was a child preacher who is now an atheist teaching religion at Iowa State. John Loftus, a former clergy, has a good book out: Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity. I also have about 25 stories of former clergy that I hope to put into an anthology.

And, coincidentally, I just heard from another pastor who has become an atheist but is still in the pulpit! I hear from about one a month. Daniel Dennett is collecting stories of nonbelieving clergy for an upcoming article.

Regarding “converting” believers, see my reply to s-orbital (above). But I think the soundest policy is education. The more you know, the less you believe. Also, just “coming out” as an atheist can be very surprising and enlightening to many people. “But you’re such a good person!” they might say. And you can reply: “Of course.”

Atheists do not lack organization. There are many good groups they can join. (The Freedom From Religion Foundation has almost 14,000 members now, the largest group of atheists and agnostics in the country.) The problem is that most atheists don’t WANT to join a group. They are happy, busy, and have a “live and let live” attitude.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (as well as many other freethought/humanist groups) does a lot of publicity. FFRF’s billboard campaigns (“Imagine No Religion,” “Beware of Dogma”) and bus-sign campaign (“Sleep in on Sundays”) is one part of that, as well as Freethought Radio. You can help in your own way by being more visible.

But as I said in the “Evangelistic Atheism” article: the only way to attract people is by being attractive.

Many people find the emotional appeals attractive, and others find the intellectual appeals attractive. And probably most of us find BOTH approaches attractive. You are right to notice that most atheist “outreach” is intellectual rather than emotional. Being intellectual will appeal only to those who value intellect—which is not bad. So to appeal to the others we either have to champion reason, or perhaps mix in some “emotional appeal” to our message . . . such as arousing compassion for the victims of religious harm.

But I think the country is gradually becoming more secular on its own, regardless of the attempts of us atheists to “convert” people. In your own case, do you think your change of mind came as a result of being “converted” by a proselytizing atheist? Or did it come as a result of your own internal love for truth?

Maybe the simplest approach is to make reason and kindness attractive, and leave our “sermonizing” to the times we have to answer questions or defend ourselves from their attacks. (I’ll be doing my 69th formal public debate this week, at the University of Illinois, Urbana.)
- - - - - - - -

Q: Many churches bring a great deal to their communities. What is the
roll of church in a post-religion society, and how do you see churches
evolving to that point?
- theantirobot

Dear theantirobot,

Yes, many churches provide social services and community. (Mainly liberal churches. Conservative churches rarely report charitable work.) But these are secular things, and they are also done by non-church groups. In a post-religion society (yay!), the “church” could still be a meeting place for such things. I spoke yesterday at a Unitarian Fellowship in Kansas. This is a “church” for IRS purposes, but many are nonbelievers. They do charity, social work. Some come just to sing in the choir and have a local community.

I suppose it would be like asking “what is the role of the monarchy in a post-monarchical society?” Look at England . . . all that pomp just for image.

The good that churches do is done by caring human beings . . . and without church, these people would still be caring human beings. Does anyone suppose that those people who are expressing compassion through their church would stop doing so if the church ceased to exist? We have many secular organizations that do the same thing, such as the Red Cross, and many other groups.
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Q: One of the lacks of atheism (to me) is the community provided by churches as well as the intellectual value of a good sermon. While Unitarianism and humanism fill part of that need, I extremely rarely see the same community bonds and groups form there. What is needed to create the same kinds of community structures churches have provided without the religious component?
- Wax Memory

Dear Wax Memory,

There are many local atheist groups that do provide a sense of community. The Minnesota Atheists, for example, with their picnics and music and charity activities and radio show and, yes, “sermons” at their meetings. The Lowcountry Humanists (South Carolina) and the Atlanta Freethought Society and the Alabama Freethought Association are other good examples. If there is no such group in your area, then start one. The only way such community is forged is because of people like you who make it happen.
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Q: Can you tell us about the extent to which you are routinely threatened by religious people? I know you post excerpts of hate mail in the FFRF paper and sometimes answering machine messages on Freethought Radio, but to what degree do you and your wife feel safe? Has there been any signs of real threats beyond people writing or leaving nasty phone messages? How do you deal with this?
- miappy

Dear miappy,

We feel relatively safe. There has been very little real violence over the years. About 25 years ago Anne Gaylor was grabbed from behind by a woman in the TV audience, after the show, but the woman was very elderly and Anne’s husband separated them with his cane. We sometimes get threatening phone calls, letters, and emails, and the police have told us they want to be informed when that happens . . . only when it is a real threat of violence . . . so we call the police (maybe once a year), but we are not too worried. A lot of people are just venting. They read something in the paper that makes them mad and they call us to try to make us shut up. We once got a dead fish in the mail. Anne and Paul found a toilet on their front lawn about 20 years ago.

Our office is very visible, right in downtown Madison, two blocks from the state capitol. But Madison is a very liberal town, and even many of the Christians are “proud” we are here, for reasons of diversity. We are not too worried.

We do have an alarm system at the building, and we take reasonable precautions. Annie Laurie is less worried about religious violence than she is about some of the homeless people who sometimes sleep in our bushes, especially when she is working late at night.

Someone threw a rock through our window that came into the reception area and almost hit one of the printers. We called the police, who told us that this happened to a number of buildings along the street that night, so it was not directed at us. Probably kids acting wild. We replaced the glass with plexiglass.

So we are careful. Actually, mental problems are not limited to the believers. It is possible we could be threatened by an unstable atheist (there are a few of those out there) who is angry at how we are do our business. Madalyn Murray OHair was actually murdered by an atheist, a former employee she had hired. (His motive was money--we have very little cash in the building.) But so far, the only “threatening” letters and calls we have received have come from believers.

We do provide security at our conventions, which is a reasonable precaution. (Some of the speakers we invite request security.)

In short, we are not very worried.
- - - - - - - -
Q: What, do you feel, is the best approach for promoting the atheistic point of view? Given that many(?; most?; some?) atheists would support the global abolition of religion as a whole, is it realistic to support such a position when the opposition outnumbers us by such a large margin? Is it more realistic to concentrate on the separation of church and state in the US, for example, than completely ridding the world of religion?
- rcroyle

Dear rcroyle,

Yes, I think the best hope for the world is a secular government. That’s why FFRF concentrates on the separation of church and state. We don’t want to outlaw religion . . . we want religion to decide someday to outlaw itself. I think if we promote education, science, reason and human kindness, that is what will make religion seem obsolete.

It’s like what Jesus is reported to have said (if he ever existed): “They who are whole don’t need the doctor; only they who are sick.”

Or like what I said at the World Religions Conference a few years ago: “If salvation is the cure, then atheism is the prevention.”

If people realize they are just fine, and don’t need religion, then religion will go away all by itself.

Of course, in the meantime, there is no harm in us freethinkers speaking out, doing debates, trying to persuade, making freethought visible and attractive. A small number of people will be “de-converted” this way.
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Q: As a Buddhist and an atheist, I find that the atheist "movement" (if it can be called such a thing) lacks two things: compassion and understanding. Either you are an atheist, or you are a stupid and irrational person that can't understand simple logical reasoning.

I understand the root of such aggressiveness, as atheists find themselves one of the few minorities that it is openly acceptable to hate, and we also find that we are often forced to live our lives based on religious beliefs and ideals.

But without compassion and understanding, all this vitriolic attack of religion will do is cause both sides to draw battle lines and further entrench each others' beliefs. As people are free to address the unknown and the totality of their existence any way they choose, religion will always be with us, and so the atheist movement has to start finding ways to live with religion rather than pit it as "us against them."

So how do you think we can make a push for a more accepting and understanding atheist movement, when most atheists are unwilling to offer any compassion to theists or spiritual persons?

Dear buddhist,

You are right. Some atheists are obnoxious. Since atheism is not a creed, there is nobody telling atheists how to behave, nor should there be. We are all free.

I question whether we should call atheism a “movement.” I suppose in the strictly sociological or anthropological sense, it is a general “movement,” but a very strange one. It is a movement with no followers. There are no anointed atheist bishops, popes, messiahs, leaders. (If there were, most atheists would leave the movement!) There is no atheist creed. Atheism is simply the lack of theism. (Like the old joke: “If atheism is a religion, then baldness is a hair color.”)

However, we ARE seeing a recent “new atheism,” which is only new in the sense that we are becoming more vocal, more visible, similar to what happened (is happening) in the gay movement. That increased visibility is resulting in a wider acceptance of atheists in the world. I suppose we might call this “new atheism” a kind of “movement” in a loose sense.

Most atheists that I know are not obnoxious. Most of them are kind and compassionate. Most of them allow, even cherish, the freedom of believers to think and worship as they choose. Working for the separation of church and state is good for ALL of us -- atheists and believers alike. We don’t want to limit free speech or freedom of religion or freedom of association or of the press. We simply want our place at the table.

Most atheists (unlike many religionists) welcome disagreement. We atheists don’t all have to think alike or take the same approach. Some take the confrontational approach, belittling believers. Others of us realize that the believers are human beings who are not stupid or evil. (Some of us used to be like that, so we understand and empathize.)

However, there is a subset of believers who cannot distinguish between neutrality and hostility. Like Jesus, who said, “He who is not with me is against me,” displaying a kind of small-town dictator paranoia, many Christians will feel threatened by atheists no matter WHAT we say or HOW we say it. We can’t win. Everything we say, no matter how gentle, will be perceived as an insult.

So, does that mean we should shut our mouths in order to avoid “offending” these believers? I don’t think so. I think it is a GREATER offense to treat them as if they were little children unable to handle informed criticism. We are doing them a favor by speaking out. After all, our intention is to improve the world, not make it worse.

And I guess it also depends on your personality. I think atheists fall across the human bell curve of psychological traits, most of us landing somewhere in the middle of the distribution, some of us over to one side with the “saints” and others over to the other side with the “troublemakers.” You (like most buddhists) appear to fall over to the gentle caring side. Anything you can do to promote that approach is admirable, I think.
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Q: Do you think there is any way to counter act the proselytizing that is being done in third world countries?
- groovychick

Dear groovychick,

Yeah, good question. We atheists don’t exactly have a “missionary organization” sending emmisaries all over the world. Those 3rd-world countries are very vulnerable to conservative evangelical, pentecostal religions. Since life is very tough, religion gives them something to hope for . . . a cosmic lottery to enter.

Education is always the best approach.

But sociologists notice that as a country’s well-being increases, its obsession with religion decreases. When women have equal opportunities, and most people have access to adequate health care, and birth control, and education is free and available . . . and so on . . . then religion gets pushed away naturally, organically. Denmark is one example. (See Phil Zuckerman’s new book, Societies Without God.)

So, I guess, anything we can do to improve the general state of existence in those countries will result in less religious obsession.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

[philosophy] redditors to Interview Conservative Philosopher John Kekes

Conservative author and political philosopher John Kekes has graciously agreed to be interviewed by [philosophy]. John Kekes is Professor of Philosophy and Public Policy at the State University of New York, Albany, and known for his books analyzing and critiquing the liberal persuasion. His works include The Roots of Evil, where he examines how evil, "challenges our optimistic illusions about the effectiveness of reason and morality in bettering human lives" and what society can do about evil; and his most recent book The Art of Politics: The New Betrayal of America and How to Resist It. Ask your questions for Prof. Kekes here.

For a brief introduction to Prof. Kekes and his perspective, check out his previews of some works on google books, or his online essay "What is Conservatism", which concludes:
Moderate skepticism about general theories in politics; pluralism about traditions, values, and conceptions of a good life; traditionalism; and pessimism about human perfectibility and the eradication of evil jointly define the version of conservatism that is the best alternative to its chief contemporary rivals: liberalism and socialism.
Big thanks to redditor shenpen for suggesting him. Ask your questions for Prof. Kekes here.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Vintage tee shirt & sockpuppet contest over. We have our winners!

We announced a new shirt last week, the reddit vintage tee. With it, we proposed a contest for a bobblehead and some other nifty reddit stuff.

The Amazon Customer Image Gallery for Uranium Ore will never be the same. You see, after photographing themselves wearing the shirt, with a sockpuppet, and their name written either with food or in food, these ambitious redditors needed to upload the picture to Amazon.

The results are as stunning as the greatest of impressionists, yet with the neorealism that only photography can honestly capture.

Kathaclysm, are those french fries? Profound. Your sockpuppet appears to have a certain malaise, though...

Radmarshallb chose to tag his pizza box, no doubt a commentary on how dislocated we are from the original food products we consume. His sock puppet is evidently blind.

Thanks to everyone who participated! May your vintage shirts keep you looking awesome; and if you haven't yet bought one, wearing a sockpuppet should also do the trick.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

redditors Receive "Homo Heroes" Honor for Parodying Hate Campaign

It looks like all those epic pun threads built some fast-twitch satire muscles. Last week the National Organization for Marriage (NOM not NOM) launched a $1.5 million ad campaign to "protect marriage and religious liberty throughout the nation" against the "The Gathering Storm" of same-sex marriage. Not only were redditors not scared by the bad actors, lies, and crappy green screen effects, but they also decided to respond to "the most ridiculous anti-gay ad ever" with a sharp collaborative work of parody. "[NOM's] 'Gathering Storm' ad was so rife with misinformation and fear-mongering that the internet changed just a few words to show what it really was: bigotry."

By replacing all the audio, and substituting the word "gay" with "interracial" redditors highlighted the prejudice and fear mongering of the NOM ad. All of this was done quickly, collaboratively, and without any of the redditors ever meeting face to face. Yesterday, The Lesbian and Gay Foundation recognized this project and gave "the reddit users behind the parody a hearty high five for being 'Homo Heroes' and challenging the homophobic National Organisation for Marriage, who most definitely win the accolade of 'Homo Zeros'!" redditors didn't stop there either. They quickly parodied NOM's website with Outstanding job by everyone involved! You are Heroes!

Help more people see their parody by rating and sharing the video far and wide. As LGF says, "The appauling advert has incensed many, but a group of ad hoc activists on the the social networking site Reddit, decided to get even with NOM." For other parodies of "A Gathering Storm" check out this playlist.

"Denying rights and freedoms to any specific group is equated with hate and racism. Work to create a world where every person is guaranteed the same rights, no matter what their race, belief, or lifestyle." - redditPSA

Monday, April 13, 2009

Surveying reddit to better understand large-scale discussions (aka, help a redditor graduate)

Srikanth Narayan, a grad student at UC Berkeley School of Information is investigating better designs for large-scale discussions -- the kind of conversations reddit is rife with. To do so, he's put together a short survey that he'll share the results of later. We wouldn't ask you to take a survey we haven't taken and this one is a breeze.

It's also for his masters final project; help a fellow redditor graduate.

Here's the blurb from the introduction page of the survey:
Discussion spaces on the internet have grown to become an overcrowded place in the past few years. With increasing user participation, it is not uncommon to encounter discussion spaces with hundreds to thousands of messages (or even more). While most of these discussion spaces are successful in helping the user navigate through small discussions, their effectiveness for large-scale discussions is questionable. To provide a brief orientation, some problems include inability to follow conversations, inability to get a sense of the breadth of the discussion, discursive commentary, low signal-to-noise ratio among many others. This project is aimed at investigating ways to design better interfaces for navigating through large-scale discussions.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Sorry, reddit employees aren't eligible to win this shirt contest

A noble effort, Mike, but this newest addition to the Amazon customer images of Uranium Ore isn't eligible to win all that free reddit stuff.

When your vintage reddit shirt arrives, assemble the necessary items, snap the photo and let us know when it's on Amazon.

And in case you missed it, here are the contest details:
  1. Buy a vintage reddit tee (you're helping pay for a reddit server and funding xkcd's cocaine habit all in the same order)
  2. Photograph yourself wearing the shirt, with a sockpuppet (the sockpuppet can be on your hand or someone else's, but it must be in view) and include the word reddit your username somewhere in view -- made out of food. The word "reddit" Your username can be written on food or the letters can be made out of it, food just needs to be involved.
  3. Upload the photo to Amazon's customer image gallery for Uranium Ore and message me; be sure to submit it to reddit, too.
  4. We'll announce the entries here on the blog as they roll in, but the first 3 redditors to do this will get a free bobblehead, stickers, and a secret bonus prize.

Thursday, April 09, 2009 - Read the reddit frontpage like never before

Enough of your borax, poindexter, we need action -- take me to!

The reddit front page is daunting to a number of casual Internet users, I know. But those blue verdana headlines won't be changing anytime soon (except on user-created reddits, where you can restyle all the CSS).

So is a new take on the front page that looks more like popurls (Thomas Marban has done brilliantly on that btw) only with different blocks from different chunks of the reddit network.

First, some history (scroll past this for the pictures):
This idea started in a cracked (sorry, Jasc) copy of Paint Shop Pro 5 back in July 2005, shortly after Steve and I launched reddit.

Connor, a college buddy of ours, and I were passing design ideas back and forth when we got to something that looked an awful lot like the 'web desktops' that were so hip at the time. You can see the early reddit mockups on my blog (formerly known as, you can still read it all at

It's been almost four years since that mockup and reddit has come a long way. In particular, we open-sourced and a bunch of developers got interested in messing around with reddit code. One redditor in particular, Ryan, did some great work in creating erqqvg, a real-time reddit.

Turns out he also had some spare cycles and I commissioned him to build RedditAll. He did a marvelous job.
As for the site itself, here's an overview:

Or if you hate videos...

Right across the top is a row of the hottest from pics (one of our most popular reddits)

In the top right, you'll find an easy way to search for and add blocks for a reddit you're interested in. The reddit community has grown tremendously since we allowed user-created reddits, so this is a good window into all the diversity.

The main layout is composed of blocks, which come in four different flavors. One of the defaults shows the hottest links on reddit from (this way you can track the hottest reddit links from any domain you'd like).

And you can also create a block to display result of a reddit search. Not surprisingly, one of the defaults is a search for "bacon" on reddit. At the time of this screenshot it appears has chosen a rather popular subject (see the #1 headline in both):

You can customize each block for whatever sort option you prefer. Here's the block for the hottest links from WTF.reddit, which we can switch to the most controversial links of WTF.reddit (because really, what does it take to be controversial on WTF.reddit?)

If tracking a particular reddit, search query, or domain wasn't enough, you can also create block for specific redditors.

And if you don't like their placement, that's fine, just drag them around until you've got a layout you like (and don't worry, there's a cookie keeping track of all this for when you come back).

Bonus! Click the link to live dangerously and customize for the option to change the theme, along with a few other things. I'm a space man myself.

Double bonus! Linger on long enough and you'll start to see momentum arrows to indicate if a link is currently shooting up the ranks or plummeting to its demise.

Oh, and those percentages are the link's current "grade" based on up and down votes.

As always, do let us know what you think of

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

There's a new reddit shirt for sale with a new contest

The Stallman & hamster trio contest we ran with our last shirt was a success, but we knew we had to do better this time.

Here's the contest: We have our winners!
  1. Buy a vintage reddit tee (you're helping pay for a reddit server and funding xkcd's cocaine habit all in the same order)
  2. Photograph yourself wearing the shirt, with a sockpuppet (the sockpuppet can be on your hand or someone else's, but it must be in view) and include the word reddit your username somewhere in view -- made out of food. The word "reddit" Your username can be written on food or the letters can be made out of it, food just needs to be involved.
  3. Upload the photo to Amazon's customer image gallery for Uranium Ore and message me; be sure to submit it to reddit, too.
  4. We'll announce the entries here on the blog as they roll in, but the first 3 redditor to do this will get a free bobblehead, stickers, and a secret bonus prize.
We've got a new model, too. And we know for a fact that she's a redditor, along with being a PhD student -- like Dr. Huu before her.

And I know what you're thinking.

Yes, that's indeed an agitating vortex mixer beside her on the lab table.

Mythbusting today's logo

Today's logo is a favor to our pal (and fellow redditor) Adam Savage of Mythbusters. If you haven't seen the reddit interview yet, do yourself a favor and watch him answer the questions submitted and chosen by the reddit community.

And be sure to watch the season premier of MythBusters tonight on Discovery!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Stallman photos, hamster trios, and aliens - just another reddit bobblehead contest

The last time we added a shirt to the reddit store, we offered a free bobblehead to the first few who bought a shirt and photographed their receipt (with alien doodle), a Richard Stallman picture, and an image with no fewer than 3 hamsters. Pretty standard, really.

Now there's a new shirt on the reddit store, but while we come up with something ridiculous you can do to get a free bobblehead, take a look at the last submissions. They are most excellent.


We'd originally marked our office with a much smaller Jolly Roger acquired from the magnificent Pirate Store @ 826 Valencia. Then a mighty tempest blew it down.

People were having trouble finding the reddit offices, so we upgraded to the largest flag they carried. And when the Pirate Store says it's the largest pirate flag available, you have to believe them.

Guess what floor we're on.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Impressive: reddit collaborates to write transcript for Adam Savage interview for the deaf

It was a great interview, but the reddit community made it even better when they pitched in to write a transcript for a deaf redditor who'd asked for it (and no doubt benefiting a number of others as well).

SciFi author Greg Bear will answer redditor's questions

Greg Bear, the Hugo and Nebula award-winning author, is answering your questions at scifi.reddit. He's got a broad body of work that extends beyond science fiction and is well known for his adherence to scientific details.

One of my favorites, Darwin's Radio, will be getting some love in our 300x250 later today.

If you've got something you'd like to ask him, submit it here.

Gold bobbles departing San Francisco shortly...

Best of reddit 2008 award winners, sorry it's taken so long. The glue is drying and they should go out early this week. We do other things around the office, honest.*

*like mail stickers -- more info on that to come.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Mythbustin' - Adam Savage Answers Your Questions

Mythbuster and fellow redditor Adam Savage (you'll never guess his username) answered your top questions. The full 30min interview is now available on Youtube (part 1, part 2, part 3), or you can always check out the 4min teaser version.

We also highly recommend that you watch Adam's talk on Dodos, Maltese Falcons, and the Art of Extreme Obsession if you haven't already. There's a question in the interview that references it, plus it's fascinating and mentions T3.

Adam and Jamie are returning for a new season of Mythbusters next Wednesday. From the clips Adam showed us after the interview, you don't want to miss it.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Ride the Snake: reddit's PyCon 09 keynote

It's been uploaded to SlideShare, where it was selected as a 'Top Presentation of the Day.' Considering how uninformative the slides are, that's pretty neat.

The PyCon folks have kindly uploaded the video for you to watch. Thanks again for inviting us, PyCon -- you've also gained a sponsor for next year. See you in Atlanta!

Bonus: try watching it while also reading the Twitter feed.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

A terrible mistake

We should have never launched the redesign on April 1st.

For this mistake I take full responsibility. Consider this my digital seppuku.

As if the Twitter comments weren't bad enough, a number of blogs had the audacity to call this new design a "joke."

Even the stalwart news source Fark reported our redesign of wtf.reddit as "amusing." The nerve.

We tried to bring reddit out of the design doldrums and into the soft and rounded hugfest that is the modern Web 2.0 aesthetic -- and you thought it was a prank.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Long overdue update

It's been almost four years since we launched reddit. In that period of time, reddit has always remained true to an aesthetic based on content first. But even as we've grown to 5.6 million unique visitors a month (still just shy of 1 million uniques per employee) there's still something holding reddit back.

We've enlisted the best of the Internet to help us rethink the reddit brand (yes, I'm talking about Pierre Francois) and take the site to the next level. Then we asked cfabbro to bring this lofty ideal to fruition. And by ask, I mean we held his karma ransom until the CSS work was complete. We are, after all, open source -- how did you think Stallman got to where he is today?

At last, change has come to reddit. Let us rejoice.


Note: If for some reason, you think that this new interface is lame -- a result of your poor taste and lack of foresight, you can (for now) head over to and get the legacy Reddit interface. We cannot make you be less ignorant, philistine.

Oh, and we've also heard rumors that a few of our most popular reddits are also undergoing redesigns today. We commend them for taking the initiative to follow our lead. If you see any good ones, please post them to the official discussion page.