Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Holidays, You Glorious Bastards!

Happy Holidays from all of us at reddit!

We hope everyone is having a safe and stress-free time with friends and family, or at the very least enjoying some quiet redditing.

Gold members, if you peruse your user page, you'll notice a little stocking stuffer feature. Thanks, for your continued support, fine ladies and gents!

Peace on Earth & The Eleven Dimensional Multiverse,


Friday, December 16, 2011

Over 37,000 reddit Secret Santas in 110 countries are sending gifts to spread happiness and set a world record!

Have you checked out the redditgifts gift gallery lately? Many of the over 37,000 participants in 110 countries have already received their gifts and are capturing the joy using photos and videos to let the world know just how excited and thankful they are.
Can't keep up with the gallery? We pour over all the gifts every day and give awards to some of the best gifts there are (you can also keep up with the awards on the redditgifts facebook page). There have already been some highlights including a video (and other gifts) from Bear Grylls, an extra cool gift from Wil Wheaton, some cool gifts from Pee-Wee Herman, a 4 day cruise to the Bahamas, a new laptop and more happy stories than you could possibly shake a stick at!

As we mentioned a few months ago, we are also working with Guinness in order to set a world record. This process is moving along as expected and we're adding to what will be the final record number with every gift posted to the gallery (so please post your gift).
Secret Santa 2011 has of course received some nice press from the likes of The New York Times, USA Today and was featured on ABC Radio and RightThisMinute!

This has become a wonderful tradition in our great community here on reddit. Lets everyone give each other a hand on another successful secret santa!

Stay tuned for the biggest book exchange the world has seen early in 2012 where we will be supporting some great causes and having massive amounts of fun!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Future of Fundraising and Altruism on reddit

The reddit community has rallied around some amazing causes over the years. Way back in 2007, we named the infamous Mr. Splashy Pants. Since then, redditors raised money for Donors Choose in 2010, and Haiti relief in 2010. Recently, there has been a growing trend of subreddits creating their own fundraisers and donation drives in their community with impressive success. The biggest example of this is the "irreverent" folks over at /r/atheism raising almost $200,000 for Doctors Without Borders, but there have also been recent fundraisers at /r/christianity, /r/guitar, /r/islam, /r/twoxchromosomes, and yes even /r/starcraft (add any we've forgotten to the list at help/altruism).

In the past, we've helped organize and promote these various fundraisers with blog posts, ads, and coordination with some of the non-profits involved. The fact that these recent campaigns have been so successful and completely independently run by reddit communities makes them all the more impressive and exciting. We love that subreddits have taken the initiative to organize and promote fundraisers, blood drives, and other volunteering, not to mention all of the random acts of kindness subreddits.

The reddit community has now grown and evolved to a point where reddit Inc. is not necessarily needed for promotion and organization. However, we are committed to supporting the reddit community's charitable efforts in any way possible. So, we'd like to propose a question to you: what can we at reddit do to help fuel these type of fundraisers and other organic altruistic activity? How can we make subreddit campaigns more powerful, easier to manage, or easier to join?

On a tangentially related note, we'd like to thank all 90,000 plus of you who signed our Stop SOPA petition and took other action to help save the internet. This bill is an existential threat to reddit and the internet as we know it. Thanks for making your voices heard, and thanks for having our backs on this.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Embracing the Darkness

Last Tuesday, Elizabeth Tobey of 2K Games invited 8 San Francisco redditors up to their studio to preview their upcoming game, "The Darkness II." We had no idea what was in store for us, but we were ready to get going.

The studio is up in Novato, about 45 minutes away from reddit HQ, so 2K kindly sent someone to pick us up — in style. As redditors, we reserved the right to go a little "Socially Awkward Penguin" for the first few minutes of the ride, but eventually our excitement got the better of us.

2K Games treated us like Jarls — er, wrong game. Kings! They treated us like kings!

We got some hands-on time with the game, including a chance to try out some of the JUST announced coop campaign. It was tons of fun! Controlling two guns and two snake-arms simultaneous was a bit overwhelming at first, but quickly became a great romp. No pansy "hide in cover for a few seconds to regen your health" either — we had to feed on the hearts of our fallen enemies to stay alive. No pictures were allowed (pictures of screens wouldn't do it justice), but you can see the trailer video here. 2K Games also hooked us up with some limited edition "darkling" statues and other swag.

Finally, we got to chat up some of the dev and community team for the game over dinner. Topics ranged from character development and narrative to how to avoid taking an arrow to the knee.

Everyone had a great time, and I think we all came away intrigued about the game. If you want to know more about it, Elizabeth and Seth are running an IAMA right now (Full disclosure: 2K Games does advertise with us).

Friday, December 02, 2011

3 Year Old Lucas Inspires reddit

There are countless reasons to be cynical and pessimistic about the world these days, and even jaded about the "power of the internet" to make a real impact. But then there are stories like Lucas's that can inspire others and even renew our faith in the general awesomeness of people.

If you are not already familiar with the story, two days ago, ironyx posted in /r/assistance asking for help with his girlfriend's sister's son, whose family needed financial assistance to take their 3-year-old son, Lucas, to Duke University for an operation for a "1 in 1 million" immune system disease. Other subreddits including /r/trees & /r/atheism got behind the cause, and in less than 12 hours redditors raised over $30,000 and helped the family reach their fundraising goal! Lucas's dad (and soon to be proud owner of a reddit tattoo) did an IAMA last night, and said, "Thank you all again for your incredible kindness. I can't even begin to convey our gratitude."

But, reddit let's not stop there. There are other kids and adults who need bone marrow transplants, just like Lucas does. You can help by registering with National Marrow Donor Foundation at and becoming a potential bone marrow donor. Register to be a Marrow Donor today.

In addition to a history of some noteworthy altruism, reddit has an amazing collection of altruistic subreddits like /r/assistance including /r/RandomActsofChristmas, /r/RandomActsofKindness, /r/RandomActsofCookies, /r/RandomActsofCoffee, /r/Random_Acts_of_Pizza, /r/RandomActsOfGaming, /r/HelpIt, /r/Free, /r/TodayIgave, /r/Favors, /r/HomeworkHelp, and /r/iNeedaFavor. The moderators of these subreddits do an amazing amount of work and have a very difficult job dealing with verification, trolls, scams, etc. They deserve the credit for making both big and small acts of kindness like this even possible. The community also deserves a lot of credit for helping with responsible verification. So be careful, be skeptical, but also don't forget how much good is possible. To quote Lucas's dad "I guess the biggest surprise or thing I didnt realize was what a strong sense of community there is on reddit. I consider it a place now, rather than just a website." reddit, you truly are an amazing place.

Thank you, reddit, for rallying around this family's story, thank you mods for facilitating, and thank you, Lucas, for being a "gloriously radiant beam of light." When you are old enough, your reddit Platinum™ account will be waiting for you.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Calling all local businesses!

Before we announce our newest Free Ad campaign, we'd like to give you a brief follow up on how the Nonprofit Organization campaign we held in September turned out.

In just over two weeks, we gave away more than 250 free advertisements for anyone advertising for their favorite non-profit, equaling a grand total of $27,300 of ad space! The genres of campaigns ranged from Disaster Relief to Education, Health to Community Awareness, Fighting Poverty, Environmental Protection, Children, and Pet and Wildlife Safety and Protection. The turnout was astounding, and a special "Thanks!" to you, our awesome users, for engaging with these nonprofits. You gave feedback, asked questions, and gave donations when you could. We honestly couldn't have asked for a better community of redditors.

On to the new campaign

Now, with two successful free advertising successes under our belts, let's move on to our next big campaign: We're looking for Local Businesses who are interested in some free ad space through the month of November.

Owning a local, private business is like having three jobs and a new baby all at the same time — especially when you're first starting up. Also, these days, more community-oriented businesses are popping up than ever, and we want to help them live long and prosper.

But wait, there's more!

It's easy for a local business in a specific community to get lost in the advertising crowd. That's why, this time around, we are going to encourage them to target their ads to their community's subreddit if and when possible. There are tons of smaller subreddits dedicated to certain cities or regions, whose users would love to find out about fine establishments they've never heard of and are right under their noses.

If you pimp your local subreddit in the thread, we'll add it here as you go, and we will be sure to keep it in mind when businesses make inquiries as to where their ad would be best received.

Here is a great directory
of community oriented subreddits. Take a look and subscribe to yours!

How to get started.

If you run a business in your area, and would like to take advantage of this opportunity, it's simple. You need only a reddit username (which is free and very easy to register).Once you have a reddit account, visit this link to get your ad created. Once your ad is created (and this is very important), email me the "edit" link of your ad (don't click "pay"!) and I and our team will review your ad and give you the freebie. You also have the option of uploading a 70x70 pixel thumbnail, which is a great way to garner interest through imagery!

Tell me more about the free ad space.

What you'll get for your business is three days of advertising at a $100 spend. We encourage you to target your ad to your local community's subreddit — you'll have a much more captive audience, and more exposure than a site-wide run ad.

This is where YOU, the reddit community, comes in.

If you have a favorite local business, get out there and tell them about our campaign! And since we all know how hard it is to explain "reddit" to people (especially people who are too busy working long hours, and might not have time to be reddicted like most of us are), you can give them my email address, where they can get more information.

If you can manage to get a perfect stranger to sign up for a free ad, AND tell us that [YourScreenNameHere] sent them, you're going to get a month of reddit gold, on the house!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Grow A College Subreddit Competition Results

The college subreddit competition has come to an end. We tracked the growth of 463 college subreddits from August 20 to October 26 and the results were pretty impressive:
  • Subscribers to all college subreddits grew from 42,957 to 71,423
  • Traffic to those subreddits grew from 9,375 uniques/32,122 impressions per day to 30,196 uniques/118,943 impressions per day
  • Subreddits from 18 countries (Australia, Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, England, Germany, Guatemala, Italy, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, United States, Wales)
  • Subreddits from 48 U.S. states plus Washington DC (Alaska and Wyoming are the only hold outs)
Subreddit growth was measured by subscriber count and traffic and was normalized by the total growth of all college subreddits. In addition to absolute growth we also looked at a weighted growth relative to each school's size.

Top 10 Absolute:
  1. Rochester Institute of Technology
  2. University of California, Los Angeles
  3. University of California, Berkeley
  4. University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
  5. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  6. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  7. University of Waterloo
  8. Rutgers University
  9. Texas A&M University
  10. Georgia Institute of Technology

Top 10 Relative:
  1. Rochester Institute of Technology
  2. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  3. University of California, Los Angeles
  4. University of California, Berkeley
  5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  6. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  7. Johns Hopkins University
  8. University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
  9. Georgia Institute of Technology
  10. St. John's College (United States)
We originally stated that there would be prizes for the top absolute growth, top relative growth, and admin's choice. We've decided to increase that to 7 winners:
Lots of engineering schools. Where are all the Liberal Arts students?

The winning schools will each get a box of goodies (shirts, stickers, surprises?) and we will change the frontpage style to reflect the school's logo for a day. Also depending on our availability we will try to organize some meetups/parties at the winning schools.

Great job everyone, now go study.

See some numbers here

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

reddit goodies and free stickers!

We’re excited to announce a new look to the reddit store and reddit schwag. Now available on is a list of destinations to find a whole host of reddit goodies. Check back often as this list is sure to grow. From reddit's official store at xkcd to other uniquely reddit products and community favorites like Soapier, the store is a one-stop-shop for all things reddit IRL.

We've made some changes and solidified our commitment with ourselves and vendors to provide high-quality alien products in a timely manner. We struggled with backorders in the past, and we apologize to those that were affected. We're working closely with xkcd and the other reddit vendors to provide great customer service moving forward.

In addition to the spruced up reddit store page, we are excited to announce our new official reddit sticker producer, Sticker Mule. Check out reddit’s sticker store on Sticker Mule, You'll be able to find stickers and sticker sheets, limited edition stickers, and iPhone skins here. You’d never guess it by the quality of their stickers or storefront design, but the majority of their team is color blind, including their design lead!

These guys love making stickers and have been passionate about getting customers quality custom stickers at affordable prices since their inception. They are super excited to be creating reddit stickers and have generously arranged to ship 1,000 lucky redditors a free 3-inch Snoo sticker. Go here to see if you are one of the first 1,000 to see this post. You can also find them on reddit as StickerMule.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Saying goodbye to an old friend and revising the default subreddits

As of today the subreddit /r/ will be archived, and will not be accepting any more submissions. It's an artifact of an earlier, simpler time and has long since run its course. You'll still be able to see all of the submissions and comments, and PMing the mods of /r/ is still the best way to get in touch with the admins.

When reddit was first started there were no subreddits. As subreddits were added (first by the admins and then later by the community), the original "front page" remained as /r/ In recent times it has ended up being a confusing, ill-defined catch-all, which was not really moderated like all the other subreddits. Let's take this chance to review the top ten all time /r/ posts, which include something from each of the co-founders, political rage, a complaint about karma-whoring, and, of course, something about Sears. Good times, great oldies.

10. Nutjob gives TED talk
9. Falsely accused death row inmate
8. Congrats to reddit co-founder Spez on getting married
7. DEA is monitoring your IP address
6. Improvised Piano on Chat Roulette
5. Dear old people, don't screw up health care reform
4. Disgusted at California over Prop 8
3. reddit, less personal crap. more articles
2. Pixar helps girl dying of cancer see new movie, UP
1. Fuck Sears

/r/, your subreddits are all grown up now and your work is done: thanks for your service. You were one of the 10 default subreddits which were shown on the homepage for non-logged in users and logged in users who had not customized their subscriptions. We've updated the list (primarily based on unique visitors) and expanded the list to 20. We also checked with all the mods to make sure they wanted their subreddit included in the default set.

The new default set is now (in no particular order):
  1. pics
  2. gaming
  3. worldnews
  4. videos
  5. todayilearned
  6. IAmA
  7. funny
  8. atheism
  9. politics
  10. science
  11. AskReddit
  12. technology
  13. WTF
  14. blog & announcements
  15. bestof
  16. AdviceAnimals
  17. Music
  18. aww
  19. askscience
  20. movies
(Logged in users, now might be a good time to update your subscriptions)

In the future we may have some more dynamic systems for how to handle the default subreddits, but this new & expanded list should provide a bit more variety to the "front page". We'll be keeping a close eye on feedback in the next few weeks to see what kind of effect the new set is having.

All is well. And yet we can't help wondering about the friend we leave behind. There are always... possibilities

Friday, September 30, 2011

redditcon...If we build it, will you come?

Ever since last year’s amazing DC Rally & party, we at reddit have been discussing having a convention--redditcon, if you will. I have met with convention planners and have been told what it takes to make a large convention happen, and it is a gargantuan undertaking. What we want to know now is this: are you all interested in attending a convention where you can meet fellow redditors, participate in fun activities, and help the surrounding community?

The only facet we’re pretty set on is the idea that the subreddits should be able to have their own presence at redditcon. Be it a booth, panel, event, class, fundraiser, concert, tournament, etc. we would want to have subreddits able to make the event their own.

I’ll be honest--even after months of discussion, we still aren’t really sure in what direction we want to take this. We have a lot of great ideas, but it really all depends on the kind of response we get from the reddit community (i.e. how many of you would actually show up) and what is your idea of an ideal redditcon experience. In regard to where this would take place, we have a few locations in mind: San Francisco (or the surrounding area), New York City (or the surrounding area), Chicago, Austin, or Seattle. Bear in mind that these places are not set in stone and we’re open to suggestion (but please be realistic... according to the recent survey results, the aforementioned places have the highest populations of redditors).

We would love for this to happen, but in order to get started we want your feedback on the following things: where would you be willing to travel to attend a reddit convention? What would you like to see or do there? Are there any ideas you have that would make this convention even more alluring? Who would be your ideal line up for panelists, speakers, events, bands, etc?

So what say you, reddit? redditcon? Crazy or just crazy enough?

Post ideas, schemes, questions, cautionary tales, blueprints, etc. in /r/redditcon. PM cupcake1713 if you have a lead or question that you don’t feel comfortable posting in comments.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

reddit is Hiring! Position: Community Manager for the best Community in the World.

reddit is looking for a Community Manager who is passionate and dedicated to supporting the best online community (ok, we're biased).

The main responsibilities of the job are to triage all varieties of feedback, and help mods, users, and the reddit team improve and promote reddit. You will be the main admin point of contact for redditors, and coordinate closely with the moderators to make sure they have the tools and support they need to create and moderate their subreddits.

Almost all of the reddit staff was hired from within the community, so chances are that the Community Manager will be as well. However, we don't want to rule out hiring someone with great qualifications but relatively little reddit experience.

I was Community Manager at reddit for 3 years before switching to a new role. It's an amazing position and working at reddit is by far the most rewarding job I've ever had, but let's face it, there are far easier and less stressful jobs. We're flexible about hours and have fun, but you're going to be checking in from home most evenings, and occasionally woken up in the middle of the night by an internet emergency. Consider yourself warned. It's a cask strength job, and dedication to the cause is very important.

Here are some details:
  • Regular full-time employee position.
  • You must be legally able to work in the United States
  • You'll have to physically be in our offices in San Francisco's SOMA neighborhood for something in the ballpark of "normal business hours"
  • Good benefits and competitive salary based on experience.
As always, the admins go through all of the applications personally, so that's why the application includes some longer questions. Please be patient if you don't hear back soon.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

And the servers rejoiced

Greetings redditors,

After a year of insane growth in both traffic and infrastructure, the demands of the site have given us the charge of growing the reddit admin team. To that end, I am extremely pleased to welcome Ricky Ramirez - aka rram - to the systems administration team.

Ricky will be joining in the unending mission of ensuring that reddit's stability and speed continue to improve. He arrived only a week ago, and I've already successfully inundated him with a mountain of Cassandra and Akamai to-dos.

Previous to joining reddit, Ricky has honed his systems kung-foo at places such as Rackspace and The Tech. He is also working on obtaining his private pilot's license, after-which he will be required to provide for our air transportation at any time.

Everyone please join me in welcoming Ricky to the team!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

If you're a Nonprofit Organization, we have some free ad space for you.

With the recent success of our "For Hire" self service advertising campaign, we thought we would reach out to another worthwhile audience — nonprofit organizations.

Along the same vein as the previous campaign, we are striving to come up with ways to give back to the community — not just you all, but the rest of the planet as well. This time we want to open doors and opportunities to these amazing organizations that are attempting to do incredible things for the world, usually with less-than-optimal funding. Since NPOs usually want as much possible going toward their goals, advertising is generally low on the list of priorities when it comes to finances, and any sort of promotion — be it of themselves, their projects, or their accomplishments — are not heard of nearly enough.

That's where we'd like to step in. You all, our community, have done some amazing things throughout the years. We have an awesome subreddit, /r/NonProfit, and whether it's organizing a shopping spree for a dying girl, raising over $100,000 for the Haiti earthquake victims, fixing a picture of a man's deceased mum, or any of the astonishingly altruistic things you all have managed to do, your empathy and selflessness has been deeply touching.

So, now, and for the rest of the month of September, we would like to do our part and reach out to you and offer some free self service advertisement to your NPO: $100 advertising credit for three days of reddit sponsored headlines.

To get started, you'll need a verified reddit account. Then, visit this link and follow the instructions to create your promotion. You'll need a catchy title, a working URL, and you have the option of uploading a 70x70 thumbnail if you wish. Once you've done this, email me the "edit" link to your ad, and I can take care of the rest.

And redditors, here's where your awesomeness comes into play — you can leave helpful comments on these ads! Give our NPO's helpful tips. You're a brilliant and savvy audience with lots of insight on tons of things, and our NPO's can take advantage of your knowledge and opinions.

Thank you for all you do. Sincerely, team reddit.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Today redditgifts announces reddit Trick or Treat 2011 exchange, meetup day and costume contest!

Halloween is our absolute favorite holiday. Ever since we decided to add more exchanges we have wanted to do this! All it took was a bit of prodding from community members MisterTruth and Auyan.

We are so pleased to announce reddit Trick or Treat 2011!

How can you internet trick or treat, you ask? Well, it will be like going to the one best house on the block and getting your treat bag filled with candy and Halloween cheer (or Halloween tricks)! But what do I send? I have never done this before! Halloween is simple. Send candy, treats, decorations, Halloween related crafts, or spooky things! Or, you can send a trick! if your match says they would like a trick.

We recommend brushing up on your holiday skills by enjoying a viewing of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! Or perhaps some scary films such as, but not limited to, Frankenstein, Dracula (Bela Lugosi version, please), or the aptly themed slasher Halloween. You may want to heighten your Halloween experience by seeking out a haunted house or decrepit hospital to explore (redditgifts does not condone trespassing, of course). These things must be done at night to qualify as proper Halloween traditions.

Want to participate? Click Here to sign up!

Now, what would Halloween be without a good costume party? redditgifts is organizing the first annual reddit Trick or Treat meetup day! On October 22nd, redditors all over the world will congregate in Halloween costumes to have a massive costume contest! We will be hosting the official reddit meetup in San Francisco, Join us there or organize your own. The winners of the contest will receive fabulous prizes from our friends at Thinkgeek! For more details, check out the reddit Trick or Treat meetup day page. For details on how the costume contest will work, check out this page.

Subscribe to r/reddithalloween to see all the costumes on October 31st!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Who in the World is reddit? Results are in...

More than 30,000 of you heeded the call for the Who in the World is reddit Survey. The results are in and we'd like to share what we've learned with our fellow redditors.

Click here for the data (big thanks to our buddy, Darien Acosta aka epiphanyp7a, for cleaning the data for us)! Please share any of your own analysis and feel free to slice & dice the data any way you see fit. What type of cheese is most popular amongst someone whose favorite sub-reddit is r/anarchism? Feta. How many single female redditors are there in Michigan? 37.

In classic reddit fashion, there were hundreds of different favorite sub-reddits. Leading the pack were some of reddit's largest communities: ask reddit, f7u12, pics, trees, gaming, funny, atheism, ask science, all, TIL, Starcraft, and IAmA.

<span class=

Half of reddit manages to juggle having a partner with browsing reddit all day.

Cheese preference varies (20% of you were not happy with the original selection), so much in fact that hueypriest created another survey. Download results here (note the data is not cleaned).

If you would like to run a survey for your sub-reddit, please go to r/pimpmyreddit for free survey administration and promotion.

We've already had a few awesome takes at the information.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011


Today reddit, a division of Condé Nast, becomes reddit Inc.

This change is all about setting up reddit so that it can better handle future growth and opportunities. When reddit was acquired in October 2006 by Condé Nast, it was receiving about 700k page views per day. Now, reddit routinely gets that much traffic in 15 minutes. This explosion in traffic created technical, cultural, and organizational growing pains. reddit now has the kind of resources it needs to continue improving and supporting the community's experience far into the future.

reddit Inc. is now owned by Advance Publications (which also owns Condé Nast), so even though the organizational shift is important, reddit is not really going anywhere. reddit Inc. will report to a Board and therefore have much more operational freedom than when we were a division of Condé Nast. Details are still being finalized, but reddit co-founder Alexis (kn0thing) Ohanian (read his thoughts here) will serve on that board, along with Bob Sauerberg (President) and Joe Simon (Chief Technology Officer) from Condé Nast, and Andrew Siegel (Senior Vice President, Strategy and Corporate Development) from Advance. Other internal or external directors may be added in the future.

As part of the new structure, reddit Inc. has also started the search for a CEO who can help us reach our full, unbridled potential. Make no mistake, reddit owes its past, present, and future success to the community. We wouldn't seriously consider any individuals for the CEO position unless they understood the community and were passionate about serving its needs.

We also now have the latitude to address some global issues. The reddit team, our Board, our informal advisors, and many in the reddit community sincerely believe that reddit has the potential, over the next generation, to positively impact journalism, civic engagement, fundraising, product development, and learning. We have to solve countless pragmatic issues en route, but we are devoting our time and energy to this community, because we believe that reddit has a shot to make a big, orangered mark on the future.

We love reddit, and any change to something you love can be scary, but we believe this is a sound and exciting change. reddit is on solid footing to help explore the unknown world in front of us. As always, ask us anything.

Friday, September 02, 2011

How reddit works

Over the past 15 months, reddit has tripled in size. Since last May, we’ve grown from 7 million monthly unique visitors to 21.5 million. Our pageviews have exploded 4x to a staggering 1.6 billion pages served per month.

This growth brings new diversity, new opportunities, and new challenges to our communities. There are now over 6,500 subreddits with over 100 subscribers. As we welcome new members into our communities, I'd like to take this opportunity to clarify how reddit works and what role moderators and admins play in the process.

The most important fact is that reddit is not a single community; it's an engine for creating communities.

A subreddit is a class of online community, just like mailing lists, forums, and chatrooms are. Each of the thousands of subreddits is a distinct community with its own purpose, standards, and readership. Subreddits are the secret to reddit's growth. As communities have scaled up, more focused ones have branched off of popular topics and posting practices. /r/AskReddit was created to consolidate and move question threads off of  /r/ Later, /r/IAMA and /r/DoesAnybodyElse were both created to feature types of popular threads from /r/AskReddit.

Every community on reddit starts when a redditor creates it. The creator becomes the first subscriber and the first moderator of the new subreddit.

Moderators [M] are redditors who create new communities or are added to existing ones. They can:
  • remove abusive, inappropriate, or spammy posts from their subreddit
  • change the visual style and add content to the sidebar
  • respond to feedback and requests through shared moderator mail
  • add new moderators and remove more junior moderators
Moderators have built the finest communities on reddit and work hard to keep them vital. The moderators of each community decide how to moderate and who to include on their team. Some are very hands-off, while some define specific criteria for appropriate uses of their community. It is important to note that admins do not choose who moderates a subreddit or control how moderation takes place.

Subreddits are a free market. Anyone can create a subreddit and decide how it is run. If you disagree with how a subreddit is moderated, it’s good to first reach out to the team directly through moderator mail. Singling out moderators through reddit creates more drama than constructive change (reminder: posting personal information will not be tolerated). If you are unable to resolve your grievances with the current moderation team of a subreddit, the best response is often to create a competitor and see if the community follows you. In the rare cases of mismoderation, some of the most successful subreddits ever have cropped up overnight in response.

Moderators are constantly pushing the boundaries and inventing new ways to use reddit, on both community and technical fronts. Subreddit sidebars, user flair, the NSFW tag, link tag emoticons, and the /r/IAMA verification system were all invented by the community before being built into the core reddit code. Subreddit mods continue to invent crazy, awesome things to do with their communities. The /r/fffffffuuuuuuuuuuuu mods recently ran an awesome CSS experiment where a trollface would slowly appear at the bottom of the page as you downvoted more rage comics. The current style of /r/circlejerk (screenshot, sfw) is one of the most incredible uses of subreddit CSS we’ve ever seen. This experimentation and creativity makes reddit communities some of the most vibrant ones on the Internet.

Admins [A] are employees of reddit. We:
  • maintain the code, organization, and infrastructure
  • develop new features and merge community contributions
  • handle policy violations and site-wide abuse
  • keep the lights blinking
As admins, our calling is supporting reddit's communities to do awesome things. In the majority of cases the best way accomplish this is by granting subreddits as much autonomy as possible. We encourage moderators to push the boundaries and try new things. However, there are limits. Our prime directive is that we will not intervene unless something attacks the structural integrity of the greater reddit community.

On a moderator level, and a meta reddit level, the best way that we can resolve community issues is through good communication and transparency. Admin and moderator intervention is wasteful because it's disruptive to both us and the community. It takes up time that can be spent building our communities further. We deeply respect the role moderators play in their communities, and we don't use admin ability to override that unless it is absolutely necessary.

When subreddits grow and mature, they gain greater exposure to ignorance and abuse. Even the largest subreddits are still working with tools that were designed for communities orders of magnitude smaller. Despite this, smart and dedicated moderation teams have expanded subreddits to over half a million subscribers. We recognize the need for new tools for these subreddits to continue to thrive.

There are problems that good communication alone cannot solve, and for those the best solution is to create features that allow for transparent self-correction. We have some ideas about features to add, such as making it easier to find subreddits, making the site friendlier for new users, and allowing moderators to make decisions more democratically. We’re keen on building the features communities need, but we realize that we’re only one voice in this discussion. Your ideas and thoughts will inform where reddit goes next.

I'd like to take a moment to celebrate the communities we’ve built together. Thank you, moderators, for your persistence and creativity in building incredible communities on the site. As reddit continues to grow, we are committed to building our systems and policies to support you. Thank you all for making reddit awesome every day. reddit is proof that everyone's contributions, from creating a community to  simply clicking a vote button, can have a massive effect. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

From Aberystwyth to York, Update on the Grow a College Subreddit Competition.

Earlier this month we announced our first Grow a College Subreddit Competition to see which college could cultivate the best subreddit. When we announced the contest, we had a list of 50 schools. That list is now up to well over 200. If your school is still not on the list, please add it to the wiki or reply to this thread.

The competition officially began on August 26th, but based on feedback we have decided to extend the deadline to October 24th at 10am PST, and we changed one of the prizes (#2) to account for different semester schedules. We also saw some college subreddits asking their members to subscribe and unsubscribe to help their numbers. Any subreddit found doing such subscriber manipulation will not be considered for the contest.

Here are the revised prizes and categories:

Prize 1: Best Percentage Growth
* School colors on reddit front page for a day with mascot as reddit alien
* Large box of mascot designed alien stickers
* Large poster customized to your school
* Large box of school’s subreddit QR code stickers
* Possible meetup hosted at your school by a reddit admin(s).

Prize 2: Best Absolute Growth
* School colors on reddit front page for a day with mascot as reddit alien
* Large box of mascot designed alien stickers
* Large box of school’s subreddit QR code stickers
* Possible meetup hosted at your school by a reddit admin(s).

Prize 3: Admin Choice Award
* School colors on reddit front page for a day with mascot as reddit alien
* Medium box of mascot designed alien stickers
* Medium box of school’s subreddit QR code stickers
* Possible meetup hosted at your school by a reddit admin(s).

The popularity of a college subreddit will be assessed in three ways:
Absolute Growth: traffic growth (50%), activity growth (40%), and subscriber growth (10%).
Percentage Growth: Growth in number of subscribers to college subreddit in ratio to the school's undergrad enrollment and number of days since fall classes started.
Admin Choice Award: will be given to the college subreddit community that the reddit admins enjoy the most. This can be through design, content, activity or even just one amazing post that will make us all laugh.

And in the interest of full disclosure, here's the list of the reddit staff's schools.
  • alienth - University of Alaska, Anchorage
  • bsimpson - Johns Hopkins University
  • chromakode - Portland State University
  • hueypriest - Tulane University
  • intortus - Virginia Tech
  • jenakalif - Michigan State University
  • kemitche - Colorado School of Mines
  • krispykrackers - University of Central Florida
  • paradox - University of Utah
  • spladug - University of California, Santa Cruz
  • pixelinaa - California State University, Los Angeles
Let the contest begin!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Putting reddit to good use during a natural disaster

The following is a special guest post from former reddit admin raldi (nobody ever really leaves reddit)

As Hurricane Irene travels up the U.S. East Coast, I've been trying to follow along from California. It's frustrating, because the "person on the street" information I'm looking for just isn't showing up on mainstream news sites. We've got a lightspeed global information network with YouTube and Flickr and imgur and blogs, but we're not harnessing it when we really need it.

I realized this is exactly the sort of problem that reddit is great at solving, so I wrote to the team about an hour ago and they enthusiastically supported the idea of creating a reddit to cover the Hurricane Irene story as it happens. There are probably ten million of you in the path of the storm, and a good number are going to have tales to tell, warnings to share, and possibly even critical information (e.g., "Get the hell off the beach!").

Here's the link: /r/irene

Note: Please don't ignore evacuation warnings just to score reddit karma.

Image credit: NASA

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

reddit acquires to support Secret Santa '11, more gift exchanges, meet ups, and beyond

We are excited to announce that reddit inc has acquired and that Dan McComas (kickme444) and Jessica Moreno (5days) will now be able to work full time on

Dan & Jessica started redditgifts in response to a community call for a massive gift exchange for the 2009 holiday season. Since then they've grown redditgifts into a way for subreddits to hold meet ups and gift exchanges like the Secret Santa exchange at any point in the year. To date, if you combine all the exchanges, 42,771 people in 106 countries have spent $1,458,891 on gifts! That is a lot of holiday cheer.

We long admired what Dan & Jessica and the reddit community created with redditgifts, and we've supported it from the beginning with house ads, free server space, etc. However, when talking to them earlier this year it became clear that what had started as a fun project had mutated from a fun nights & weekends project into a demanding 24/7 project. 2011 Secret Santa is on pace to potentially have 30k+ participants, and there's no way Dan & Jessica could continue to run as a volunteer project. We wanted to see redditgifts grow, and we wanted Dan & Jessica to be able to invest even more time and energy into making redditgifts even better. So, we figured out a way to bring them inside the reddit family proper.

Here's Dan & Jessica's take:
We are really happy to be joining Reddit! The reddit team has been
very supportive of us since the beginning so it feels like a natural
progression. Being able to devote ourselves to redditgifts full time
is an amazing opportunity that will allow us to do things we have
wanted to do for years but not had the time for. We can't wait to get to work!
In general, not much will change except that now Dan & Jessica will now be able to work on full time. Like all things reddit, we try to be as open as possible, so here's our plan of what will and what won't change:

What will change:
- Dan & Jessica will have more time to devote to improving and managing gift exchanges
- Dan will now be the product manager of and Jessica will be the community manager of
- Registering on will be much easier (soon)
- will become open source (ASAP. no date set)
- Eventually we may integrate redditgifts meetups into local subreddits, but no current plans

What won't change:
- Dan & Jessica will remain in charge of
- will remain a separate site, and Dan & Jessica will be focused on and not working on
- Your profile on redditgifts won't be linked from your reddit profile. We may change this in the future, but if so it will be optional and opt-out by default of course
- redditgifts will remain free to use

We are excited that we are able to support the growth of reddit gifts, and as with all things reddit, we wouldn't be able to do this without you. Thank you for your support!

Now that redditgifts is a part of reddit what would you like to see next from gift exchanges, meet ups, and Secret Santa?

Relevant Links:
For more information on reddit gifts and how the gift exchange works
For images of gift exchanges in all their glory go here
See the redditgifts stats!
Sign up for the next gift exchange here

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Celebrities at Comic-Con Sit Down For Quick AMAs

I was on hand at Comic-Con 2011 to ask celebrities questions from you, the reddit community — all thanks to a sponsorship by Bing. We grabbed celebrities from the WIRED Cafe and had them answer your AMA questions.

We shot for three questions from each celebrity. However time was tight, so some videos contain just one answer (and we gave them their choice of which of the three questions they would answer). We used the best questions from the general Comic-Con AMA thread:
  1. What has been the strangest fan encounter so far at this Comic Con? from TheToadKing
  2. If you could go back in time and tell your childhood self one secret to living what would it be? from LeAnte
  3. If you were to dress up for Comic Con, who (or what) would you dress up as? from defenestr8
There were many highlights — from Adam West making a Jersey Shore reference to Matt Smith and Karen Gillan of Doctor Who fame swapping roles momentarily. Many thanks for those that submitted questions for these. Below are the interviews we were able to confirm with enough time in advance to get custom questions:

Adam West

Doctor Who

Zach Weiner

Plus check out more interviews from:
To top off all the revelry, Zach Weiner, the Cyanide & Happiness trio, a bishop or pope of some sort, and redditors from all over converged in the midst of the Comic-Con madness on Seaport Village in San Diego for some hobnobbing on Friday night. Thanks to the folks in San Diego for the warm welcome and for introducing us all to the wonders of the California burrito (it has french fries in it)!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Grow A College Subreddit Competition

A guest post from reddit's summer intern Josh Irwin (jamsbyjosh)

As summer comes to an end, some of us return to our daily lives of surfing reddit while in class back at school. This summer, I have had the privilege of interning with the reddit team out here in San Francisco, assisting with marketing, sales and what ever else was needed; luckily no coffee runs. My main project this summer was to design a College Marketing Campaign that would help spark the college subreddit community. Although many schools already have fully functioning subreddit communities, there are several that appear to be dead, or worse, fail to exist at all. Some schools have developed communities rallying behind their sports teams, others simply oriented around the student body, and while not every school has a top 20 athletic team, every school does have students, and all students have something to say, so why not get them on reddit.

Check the current list of college subreddits here, and add yours or PM hueypriest to have your school added.

We are launching a global wide competition to see which school can grow their college subreddit community the most. The old school users may remember when reddit did a similar contest for subreddits. The prizes will be awarded to the top three schools that gain the most in popularity over the allotted contest time on three different scales.

Prize 1: Best Percentage Growth
  • School colors on reddit front page for a day with mascot as reddit alien
  • Large box of mascot designed alien stickers
  • Large poster customized to your school
  • Large box of school’s subreddit QR code stickers
  • Possible meetup hosted at your school by a reddit admin(s).

Prize 2: Best Absolute Growth
  • School colors on reddit front page for a day with mascot as reddit alien
  • Large box of mascot designed alien stickers
  • Large box of school’s subreddit QR code stickers
  • Possible meetup hosted at your school by a reddit admin(s).

Prize 3: Admin Choice Award
  • School colors on reddit front page for a day with mascot as reddit alien
  • Medium box of mascot designed alien stickers
  • Medium box of school’s subreddit QR code stickers
  • Possible meetup hosted at your school by a reddit admin(s).
The popularity of a college subreddit will be assessed in three ways:

Absolute Growth: traffic growth (50%), activity growth (40%), and subscriber growth (10%).

Percentage Growth: Growth in number of subscribers to college subreddit in ratio to the school's undergrad enrollment.

Admin Choice Award: will be given to the college subreddit community that the reddit admins enjoy the most. This can be through design, content, activity or even just one amazing post that will make us all laugh.

Any school may enter the competition. To do so, anyone that goes to a specific school must post the school name and link to the subreddit to HERE. On August 26th the number of subscribers for each subreddit will be logged as the starting point for the competition. The competition will go from August 26th at 10:00 AM PST until September 30th 10:00 AM PST.

Promote your reddit page any way you please… make flyers around campus, send out facebook messages, hire/borrow a blimp, and do what ever it takes, because we all know everyone wants their mascot & school colors on the front page of reddit.

Let the games begin! And lets see who can become…the top college subreddit.