Monday, April 22, 2013

Reflections on the Recent Boston Crisis

by /u/Shitty_Watercolour
After some reflection we want to share our thoughts about the reddit activity during the recent crisis in Boston. We all need to look at what happened and make sure that in the future we do everything we can to help and not hinder crisis situations.

During the tragedy and the aftermath, people found many different avenues to help on reddit. The vast majority of these activities were positive. They provided a way for people to stay informed, as well as a place to just discuss, cope, and try to make sense of what happened. Primarily, reddit served as a great clearinghouse for information.  Continual ongoing updates by users such as /u/JpDeathBlade, /u/cedargrove, /u/NeonRedSharpie. /u/_supernovasky_ made reddit one of the best sources for staying up-to-date about the recent events. On top of that, redditors did everything from donating to relief funds, having pizzas delivered to area police and hospitals, to arranging for people with dogs to bring them to a park so people could escape a bit with some cute animal therapy, and even arranging housing and transportaion for out-of-towners who were stranded in Boston because of the bombing. We are all incredibly proud that the reddit platform enabled this help.

However, though started with noble intentions, some of the activity on reddit fueled online witch hunts and dangerous speculation which spiraled into very negative consequences for innocent parties. The reddit staff and the millions of people on reddit around the world deeply regret that this happened. We have apologized privately to the family of missing college student Sunil Tripathi, as have various users and moderators. We want to take this opportunity to apologize publicly for the pain they have had to endure. We hope that this painful event will be channeled into something positive and the increased awareness will lead to Sunil's quick and safe return home. We encourage everyone to join and show your support to the Tripathi family and their search.

A few years ago, reddit enacted a policy to not allow personal information on the site. This was because “let’s find out who this is” events frequently result in witch hunts, often incorrectly identifying innocent suspects and disrupting or ruining their lives. We hoped that the crowdsourced search for new information would not spark exactly this type of witch hunt. We were wrong. The search for the bombers bore less resemblance to the types of vindictive internet witch hunts our no-personal-information rule was originally written for, but the outcome was no different.

This crisis has reminded all of us of the fragility of people’s lives and the importance of our communities, online as well as offline. These communities and lives are now interconnected in an unprecedented way. Especially when the stakes are high we must strive to show good judgement and solidarity. One of the greatest strengths of decentralized, self-organizing groups is the ability to quickly incorporate feedback and adapt. reddit was born in the Boston area (Medford, MA to be precise). After this week, which showed the best and worst of reddit's potential, we hope that Boston will also be where reddit learns to be sensitive of its own power.

Traffic during the Boston Bombing & Aftermath
The overall peak in traffic was when reports came in that the second suspect was captured. Google Analytics reports that there were about 272,000 users on the site with 85,000 in the /r/news update thread alone. This was the only time in reddit's history other than the Obama AMA, that a thread beat the frontpage in the ratings. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Oh, one more thing...

We've one more new member of team reddit to announce:

Ellen Pao (/u/ekjp) - Strategic Partnerships  
A long-time lurker, Ellen comes to us by way of a long, adventurous career spanning venture capital, business development, law, and electrical engineering.  She's been a formal and informal advisor to reddit for more than a year, and recently decided to finally join us full-time.  She'll be working on helping us build strategic partnerships that benefit the community.  Here's Ellen in her own words:

"I grew up in Maplewood, New Jersey, raised by enginerds on Star Wars, computers and books. I live in San Francisco, via New York City, Boston and Hong Kong. I've worked with dozens of tech companies, traveling to eleven countries on five continents, to help build a variety of consumer and business platform companies. My favorite subreddits are /r/IAmA and /r/pareidolia (I like people even when they're not real). Being part of a community of people who care is inspiring and energizing. reddit has so much to offer so many people, and I'm excited to find partners to help make reddit even more awesome."

The past few months (and Monday) have been a time of unprecedented growth for reddit, and we'd like to thank everyone who's reading this for your support, whether that happens to be by contributing interesting new posts, buying ads or reddit gold, sharing reddit with your friends, or moderating one of the thousands and thousands of unique subreddits.  Verily, through all our efforts, reddit shall continue on its course to its destiny uninterrupted.

Monday, April 08, 2013

2 New Employees Appear: Welcome Mike & Dylan!


We are super excited to introduce two new members of the reddit team. We'll let them introduce themselves below. Please join us in welcoming these outstanding new recruits, and as always, ask them anything in the comments! 

Also, this is the second time we've hired from /r/forhire and were blown away by the quality of applicants. If you are looking for a job or looking to fill a job, consider /r/forhire.

Mike Cole (/u/freedomthebucket) - Sales and Strategy
Hiya reddit! My name is Mike and I'm a cyborg that has been sent back in time to protect reddit.  That's not actually 100% true, but I am the brand spankin' new sales guy here. I hail from Pawtucket, Rhode Island (a fact that I am fiercely and irrationally proud of) and although my awesome wife and husky are temporarily in Atlanta, New York is where I currently hang my hat.  Working at reddit is quite literally one of the coolest things I've ever been a part of. Also on that list: Getting fist bumped by Billy Ocean, being 3 degrees away from Kevin Bacon, and owning an (alleged) lock of JFK's hair.

Dylan Hulser (/u/dylan) - Sales Associate
What an amazing honor it is to join the reddit team. Never in a million years did I expect to make my way from a tiny town in central Massachusetts to working for the greatest website in the world. My dad, (yes, my dad...) introduced me to reddit  shortly before the mass exodus from Digg back in late 2010. I've been big into reddit, on a few different accounts, ever since. After a fantastic four years at Ithaca College (Gorges, I know.) I spent about a year in digital media buying at a big NYC agency before seeing a post in /r/forhire for my dream job. Some opportunities are too good to pass up on - and here I am. You'll find me hanging out in /r/nyc, /r/jailbreak, and most of all, posting pictures of my dog Bomber in /r/frogdogs.

Monday, April 01, 2013

reddit buys Team Fortress 2

And now we're Free to Play!

After some intense negotiations - seriously... blood was shed, pies were thrown, babies were born - reddit has finally acquired Team Fortress 2. In an effort to make players comfortable with the acquisition, we'll be slowly integrating features from the popular free to play game into the standard reddit experience.

Starting today, you'll be able to customize your account with hundreds of weapons, hats, and more. Tweak your reddit account to suit your style and personal taste. Best of all, virtually all of the items can be acquired from normal site surfing via random drop. You don't need to pay to win. (But it certainly couldn't hurt!)

Learn how to play at The Field of Karmic Glory

Taken from our press release:

"We're going to make a lot of wholesale reworks and improvements to the entire site, but don't worry, nothing will change!"
-Erik Martin, General Manager

"We feel strongly that moving to a system of microtransactions will allow the community to use the site in ways they could only imagine. Or something."
-David Croach, Community Manager

"Our new system helps us allocate logistical synergy-based resources in over fifteen inter-dependent base clusters, creating a vortex of statistical momentum and creativity augmentation."
-Jason Harvey, Systems Administrator

"Okay, but will it make us more money?"