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.

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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.