Saturday, March 31, 2012

Introducing reddit timeline™

reddit, inc. is proud to introduce a groundbreaking new development in social news. Using never-seen before time travel technology, in addition to news, we are now able to offer olds, soon-to-bes, and everything in-between. We’ve taken the most interesting eras of the past and future and condensed them into new areas called “timereddits”.

No longer will you be shackled to the present-centric bias rampant on the internet. Simply peruse the new reddit timeline™ bar on the front page to view the hottest stories of any timereddit and communicate with peoples of distant lands and times.

Have you ever wondered what the popular memes were in the late-cretaceous period? Curious to see if cats and bacon will still be around in 42000 AD? Want to have a fireside AMA with Prometheus? Now is your chance to travel through history.

As you travel, please take care to abide by the cultural norms and practices of your time. Besides being a violation of intergalactic law, exposing past peoples to knowledge from the future can be extremely dangerous, and even risk temporal paradox.

Attention pseudo-scientists, engineers, and ethnographers: we require experienced time travellers to adopt portions of the timeline and enhance our presence there. Want to adopt a timereddit or help navigate the time machine? Join us over at /r/timereddits, any time.

2nd Annual World Backup Day & reddit Backup Stats

Last year, some reddit users had the inspired idea to declare March 31st World Backup Day. The idea took off led by college student Ismail Jadun, who quickly created They've partnered with some great sponsors like Backblaze and other backup services to provide some discounts and related offers to redditors, so you have no excuse not to get your backup procedures in good health.

While we are on the subject of backups, here's some general stats on the amount of data we backup here at reddit HQ:
  • ~ 270GB of comments
  • ~ 70GB of links
  • ~ 240GB of link votes
  • ~ 300GB of comment votes
  • ~ 400GB of "other"
  • Our daily backup job takes ~ 5.5 hours to complete. After compression, our daily backup size grows by roughly 200MB each day.
Especially with all the mayhem of April Fool's around the corner, make sure you review your backup plans.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Join Us in Helping One of Our Own

We first got to know reddit user Dacvak (David A. Croach) when he was a moderator of gaming, IAMA and some other subreddits. We got to know him even better when he applied for the Community Manager job at reddit and came out to San Francisco for an interview. We were so impressed with him that we offered him the job, which he accepted. He gave notice at his previous job, and got everything ready to move across the country from Pittsburgh to San Francisco to start working with us at reddit HQ.

A few days before he was supposed to move out here, he called us up and let us know that he had just received some bad news. He had gone to his local doctor to get checked out after feeling particularly run down, and it turned out that he had leukemia and needed to get to a hospital immediately. Since then he's had three inductions of chemotherapy. Now the doctors say his best chance is for a perfect-match bone marrow transplant. So, that's what we at reddit are going to help find for him, and we hope some of you join us.

A bone marrow transplant's success relies heavily on the host's and donor's immune markers being similar enough that the new bone marrow doesn't attack its host. This is where we all come in: there hasn't yet been a good enough match for DAC's transplant, so we need to get as many people screened as possible to find a good match. In the process, you can register to be on the national bone marrow registry to potentially help out others in this situation. Don't worry, donation is painless these days.

Here are some ways you can help:

DAC's friends and family have set up a website with more information, and answers to common questions about modern marrow donation, which is painless.

DAC needs our help. We hope you will join us in finding the perfect match he needs, and help others in the process.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

New reddit CEO reporting for duty

Hi everyone. My name is Yishan Wong, and this week I'm starting a new job. It turns out that this job is the CEO position at reddit.

I've been a redditor since 2005 (yishan) and over the years, I've read blog posts about the ups and downs of the reddit team, the complaints about the limiting effects of being a wholly-owned subsidiary of a much larger company. I sympathized with others (both inside and outside of reddit) who felt that reddit would be able to do better as an independent company. So, like many of you, I was quite happy last September to hear the news that reddit was being spun out into an independent entity.

That announcement included the fact that reddit was looking for a CEO. I'd be lying if I said that it didn't immediately cross my mind to imagine what it would be like to do that job. I'd left my previous company (Facebook) over a year ago and been doing random startup consulting ever since. But my last position was only as a Director of Engineering and I didn't have any straight-up CEO experience, despite having managed large teams of engineers and working on numerous business and startup issues. So imagine my surprise when two days later, I was contacted asking if I was interested in talking about the position.

At first, I didn't really quite believe I was a serious candidate. It didn't seem real, and I knew that I didn't match the profile of what you might consider (or so I thought) a CEO candidate. I don't have the polish and the poise and the schmoozing, and I don't play golf. Instead, I'm an engineer and a leader of engineers and I play Starcraft (poorly). But as I continued the conversations, I came to understand that reddit wasn't looking for a conventional CEO candidate, because reddit is not a conventional company.

I've spent the past decade of my career learning skills important to startups. I began as an engineer, and later moved on to managing teams. Even later, I learned about leading even larger teams, growing organizations, and about key business issues relating to startups, finance, open source, internationalization, and corporate development. I learned these things just because they were interesting, and because I felt by doing so I could be helpful to the people I worked with. But it was only when I got the call to consider joining reddit that I finally felt that perhaps this was what it had all been for: to help reddit spread its alien-wings and become a fully independent business, doing right by its community and people around the world.

Companies that use technology to do truly great things are rare, and my hope is for reddit to become one of those. As part of my joining, we've been working with Advance Publications to complete reddit's spin-off. We've established a new board including, among others, reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian (kn0thing), and a revamped capital structure that will allow reddit to manage its own finances and operations, including the ability to provide competitive equity compensation to its employees, which we haven't been able to do in the past. I am inspired by the words of an engineer who once described Google as a place where "engineers can go all the way to the top, a place where the IT and HR policies are written with engineers in mind."

This structure is so that reddit can move quickly and flexibly, have full control over its resources, and grow to meet the demands of its mission. I'm not looking to step in and make "big, bold changes" - I think reddit is great, and the team has a lot of good features already in the pipeline to improve functionality for users and mods, help with subreddit discovery, improve the API, and help bring reddit to more people - so the primary goal for my first few months is to listen and try to learn as much as I can about the details of the product and the community. I think the best way to get acquainted and learn what's important to everyone is to have an ongoing conversation. I'll answer as many questions as I can in the comments here, and in a week or two I'll do another more "official" IAMA.

I'm here for reddit because I love it. I hope you'll join me in making it even better.