Friday, August 30, 2013

Over 10,000 Teachers Need Your Help

Please consider participating in our annual reddit gifts for the Teachers drive and help teachers get the supplies they need for their classroom! You will feel great and make a concrete difference for the teachers and the children. Sign up here

None of us here at reddit would be where we are today without the amazing teachers who have helped us along the way. Many of us at reddit also have friends and family who are teachers and we witness how they always end up purchasing basic supplies out of their own pockets.

To help support teachers we started reddit gifts for the teachers, where teachers sign up who are in need of supplies for their classrooms, and nice people sign up to send them some supplies! There is no minimum or suggested value of these gifts, they can be as simple as some pencils or glue sticks. Our most requested items are photocopier paper, whiteboard markers, colouring pencils/crayons/markers, construction paper, & safety scissors (remember those?).

Last year, over 2,500 participants from around the world sent almost $150,000 worth of supplies for teachers as the new school year started. This year over 10,000 teachers around the world have signed up, but right now we don't have nearly enough redditors to match them. Please consider participating so that we can match all the teachers. You can even sign up to give to more than one teacher. You have no idea what even $20 in school supplies can mean to a classroom in need! Sign up for redditgifts for the Teachers 2013

Here are just a few examples of personal requests from the teachers participating in the exchange:  
Thank you so much for choosing to send my students a care package! I teach high school Biology in a very low income, inner-city school. My classroom is a place where kids can forget about the violence, poverty, crime, and gang activity that is a part of their everyday lives. I know that they live with these realities and try to make class time something they will remember. I don't like textbooks and do tons of hands-on activities. Unfortunately, with a $0 budget for supplies, I spent over $1200 last year so my kids could have good experiences, like dissecting chicken wings in Anatomy class because we could not afford to order specimens. I can use ANY school supplies (glue sticks, colored pencils, construction paper, pencils, pens, spiral notebooks) or anything else to make my students have a special experience in high school...GO MUSTANGS!  
I teach 7th grade mathematics at a Middle School, which is located on a Reservation. Many of my student do not have a home to return to after school, so they often only eat the breakfast and lunch the school provides. I try to provide snacks throughout the year for the students to take with them for the night, but I always end up running out within a few months. The wishlist is just a few suggestions for snacks. ANY snack would be greatly appreciated though.
I teach English in High School.  For many kids, it's their least favorite subject.  I try to change that by making reading fun again.  Students make my classroom awesome-they do amazing art projects, they're funny, they're experts at crafting sarcastic remarks that I recount to my friends later,  and they try hard. Any kind of classroom supply would be great or maybe your favorite book--as long as it's not Fifty Shades of Grey or something by Dan Brown.
I teach at a project-based learning school where students do a lot of digital learning and art projects.  Unfortunately, providing those art supplies is a burden that falls on the teacher.  I would love to receive poster paint, Crayola crayons/markers/colored pencils, scissors, cardstock, poster paper, etc.  I do not need glue or rulers (I'm still enjoying the spoils of last year's gift exchange in that department!). Cleaning supplies would also be a huge help.  Windex, clorox wipes, paper towels, kleenex, etc. Finally, if any of the above don't strike your fancy, I'm on a quest to collect posters for each of the books that I teach my students.  I've added a bunch to my amazon wish list.  Currently my classroom is completely barren.  I'm a pretty new teacher and I just don't have the budget for extra decorations for my classroom.  I would love some art to give students something interesting to look at and to get them excited about reading!
Thanks a bunch, reddit!  Oh, and by the way...our mascot is a panda.  We're the best at being adorable :)
I have a large class of excited third graders beginning school in a week. I thrive to allow my students to be as creative as possible. Unfortunately, due to district budget, my classroom is lacking in basic supplies. At this moment I have 10, 8 count, boxes of crayons. I would love for my classroom to have enough colored pencils and markers for students to share and enjoy. Thank you!
I teach 9-12th grade special education.  I am currently teaching five courses and my yearly budget is $70.  Needless to say I spend this within hours!
My students are really cool young men and women, but they really don't bring supplies.
Examples of things I ask them to bring: binder (any color, used, size doesn't matter), pencils, pens, folder, paper.
Know what would be the BEST?  A huge stack of graph paper!
  • Thank you to everyone who is participating and everyone who has been spreading the word about this project. Most of all thank you to all the teachers out there. You do amazing, underappreciated work everyday. Thank you! 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Real-Life Karma: an update on some altruistic stories

With the billions of things happening on reddit at any given moment, it can be easy to lose track of what happens beyond the original post. We followed up with the OPs of three stories that touched redditors’ hearts to get updates on:

For Lucas, the 3 year old with a rare disease (Hyper IGM Syndrome) who needed a bone marrow transplant in 2011, reddit banded together to donate over $50,000, so his family could move to the city where he needed to receive treatment. Lucas’ dad was so touched by the generosity he experienced that he got a reddit tattoo of a snoo with a heart on its chest.

Today, thanks to that treatment, Lucas is now 5 years old. Lucas’ father Luis shared how the response from /r/assistance affected their lives:
In the days and weeks around reddit’s outpouring of support, we were obviously overwhelmed. There is no life experience that prepares you for that kind of event… Perhaps just as important as those few weeks at the end of 2011 are the months that followed..... We received a steady stream of care packages, cards, PM’s and emails while we were in the hospital... There are still constant reminders, and they help us remember the kindness and generosity we want Lucas and Liam to learn as they grow up.

On March 14th we celebrated Lucas’ one year transplant anniversary and backpackwayne helped us (as always) spread the word on reddit so everyone could see how well Lucas was doing. While his progress has been slightly behind the original projections, he’s still doing very well… we have no reason to believe he won’t make a full recovery and lead a normal life.

Personally, the one thing that has been surprisingly better than expected in all of this is my Snoo tattoo. Every time someone notices it, I get to share the whole inspirational story all over again.

Liam and Lucas

David, a close friend of Lucas’ family, shared his thoughts on the experience:
reddit has power. The power of millions of people coming together to change lives in meaningful ways. When my now fiancee's sister and husband realized their son, Lucas, had a rare disease and needed a bone marrow transplant, things were looking rough… We took photos of Lucas telling his story and posted it to r/assistance. The reaction started slow, with supporters donating $5 here, $10 there... but the magic of Reddit soon began to happen... We were receiving an amazing outpouring of love in our thread from other redditors: tales of support, hardship, sympathy, and hope…. Our lives and perspectives were forever changed by the kindness, generosity, and love shown by strangers on this website. We remain in shock and awe of the power of reddit to this day.

We cannot thank each of you enough for what you've done for our family, but there are other families just like ours that need your help too. Please embrace the redditor spirit and sign up to be a bone marrow donor - you could change the life of someone just like Lucas! and The Immune Deficiency Foundation.

In January 2012, a redditor shared the story of Anthony Omari, who was attacked with a machete while single-handedly defending a Kenyan orphanage.

The OP originally posted asking for $2,000 to finish the fence to keep the orphanage safe, but thanks to the community, they were able to go above and beyond. They had this to share:
When I originally posted the photo of Omari with a small appeal for help back in January, 2012, I had no idea what to expect from reddit—certainly not the incredible outpouring of support and encouragement we received from the reddit community. In less than one week more than 3,000 people from dozens of countries across the world donated over $80,000 to Faraja Children’s Home in Kenya, essentially saving the orphanage from closing and giving the children a safer home and more hopeful future. If you didn’t see the 1-year update about how some of the money was spent, check it out! We are currently trying to find sponsors for all 37 children at Faraja to ensure they will be able to continue their education past the age of 13 (when Kenya’s free public education ends).

All of us at the Longonot Education Initiative and Faraja Children’s Home cannot thank the reddit community enough for your kindness, generosity and the support you gave Omari, his family, and the Faraja children in their time of need. We are all so grateful. Thanks for being so awesome!

Finally, just a few weeks ago on reddit, a 2 year old girl undergoing cancer treatment made a wish for a pizza party that became a “global pizza reddit signal.” In her mom Lauren’s words:

Ever since the "Pizza Bonanza" (that's what we have been calling it!) has happened to our family, we continue, each day, to be extremely humbled and left speechless by the outpouring of support from complete and total strangers. Even now I struggle to put into words the effect it has had on our family. Not only did we have well over 20 pizzas delivered in honor of my little girl's struggle, but someone was kind enough to include links, on the original Reddit post, to our Facebook page, Hope For Hazel; our blog; and our donation page. Because of the thoughtfulness of this individual, we have close to 10,000 likes on the Facebook page, I had nearly 70,000 hits on my blog for several days straight and so far have received over $13,000 in donations!

…To know that so many people have cared enough to take the extra steps to read about my daughter, and the fight that she is enduring, has been nothing less than extraordinary. People from around the globe continue to send well wishes, prayers, letters and packages to Hazel, and personal stories of struggle and triumph that all encourage me in ways that they may never understand…

Another wonderful thing that has happened is that I have been able to use this marvelous and uplifting story as a platform to raise awareness for childhood cancer… Now, I can point people in a direction to learn more and to support a community of families who desperately need our help!

I urge you to learn more about childhood cancer from sites like,,, and

These are only three of the altruistic acts, big and small, that redditors do every day. From volunteering to donate kidneys to helping those in need buy a hearing aid to supporting a teacher who sheltered her students during a tornado to randomly gifting another reddit user a new monitor to filling a teacher’s empty bookshelves, we know there are countless stories about redditors out there making the world a better place.

We’re really proud to be a part of this community, and can’t wait to see the amazing things that you all do in the future. We hope you continue to share your and others’ stories of redditors making the world a better place, starting here in the comments with stories we weren’t able to update, and in future posts. We’d love to hear them.

P.S. If you know any teachers that need help getting classroom supplies, we have more volunteers to donate to teachers than teachers who have signed up for our teacher gift exchange, now accepting signups through September 3rd. Send the teachers in your life this link!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

It's that time again - Extra Life gaming marathon!

I am happy to announce that reddit will once again be participating in the Extra Life gaming marathon to raise money for Children's Miracle Network hospitals.

Last year the folks on team reddit raised over $78k for their hospitals. This year we're setting our sights a bit higher with a team goal of $100k. Come join our team and help us make that happen!

What is Extra Life?

The Extra Life marathon works a lot like other charity marathons. People sign up and get their friends and family to sponsor them to raise funding towards a cause. But instead of running or biking a marathon, we play a marathon of games.

Children's Miracle Network Hospitals is a non-profit international organization that treats sick kids, regardless of a family's ability to pay. CMN is a very reputable charity program, and has been rated highly [] by evaluating agencies.

How to participate

To join, go to (or another team of your choosing) and click "Join This Team". During the sign-up you will choose which CMN Hospital you will be raising money for. Follow that up by spreading the word and asking friends and family to sponsor you for the marathon. Also, visit /r/ExtraLife to chat with your fellow teammates.

On November 2nd at 8AM your local time, sit down (or stand, if you're into that) and play games. Normally the marathon runs for 24 hours, but thanks to the power of Daylight Savings Time, those of us playing from 8AM to 8AM will be playing for 25 hours this year. If that specific day and time doesn't work, you're welcome to marathon when it is convenient for you. While many people participate in the full-length marathon, you're completely welcome to marathon at a pace and time that works for you.

You can play anything you like, be it console, PC, board games, or tabletop. Play from your home, or meetup with others.

As a thank you for participating, any member of team reddit that raises over $100 will receive 2 months of reddit gold for free.

How to donate

To donate simply choose a player from the team roster and click "Support Me!". Please note that each member chooses the specific hospital that he or she is raising money for.

Still have questions?

Be sure to check out the /r/blog thread for discussing and questions regarding the event. You can also check out the Extra Life FAQ as well as the /r/ExtraLife FAQ. Folks from Children's Miracle Network Hospitals will be participating on reddit to answer questions.

Further Info

About Extra Life
Extra Life FAQ
About CMN Hospitals

Team reddit

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

reddit myth busters

Over the years, we've seen many flavors of myths and theories about "reddit the business." Some of them have been plausible, some have been ghastly, and some have been downright reptilian. We want to address some more common recurring myths we see out there and be as transparent as possible about the size of the company, our business structure, profitability, and other questions we've encountered.

myth: reddit is a huge company.

reality: reddit has only ~28 employees. 42% female. 18% left handed. 7% Canadian. 25% born outside the US. 21% Linux users. 32% prefer orange juice with heavy pulp. Total employee mass is well under 3 tonnes.

myth: reddit is spelt 'Reddit'.

reality: reddit is spelt 'reddit'.

myth: 'spelt' is spelt 'spelled'.

reality: We did not know this until writing this blog post.

myth: Condé Nast owns reddit.

reality: reddit is not owned by Condé Nast. reddit used to be owned by Condé Nast, but in 2011 it was moved out from under Condé Nast to Advance Publications, which is Condé Nast’s parent company. Then in 2012, reddit was spun out into a re-incorporated independent entity with its own board and control of its own finances, hiring a new CEO and bringing back co-founder Alexis Ohanian to serve on the board. The best characterization might be to say that reddit is a “part-sibling-once-removed” of Condé Nast.

myth: reddit has a secret group of shadowy investors.

reality: We've never released a full list of reddit shareholders, but not due to any desire for secrecy. Rather, it's because shareholder lists are typically boring financial information no one cares about, even when they are made public (quick: name the major shareholders of any major corporation). If anything, the people who've invested in reddit are proud/eager to announce the fact, but we had originally requested that they refrain in order to avoid contributing to startup funding hype.

reddit has 3 sets of shareholders: The largest shareholder is still Advance Publications. The second-largest set of shareholders are reddit employees. In the spin-out that occurred in early 2012, Advance voluntarily reduced its sole ownership to that of a partial owner in order to put ownership in the hands of current and future employees. The third and smallest fraction consists of a set of angel investors. Collectively, these angel investors own less than 1% of the company and the amount held by any angel is actually less than that owned by any single employee.

They are:

  • Alexis Ohanian, previously co-founded reddit
  • Craig Shapiro, also runs CollabFund, fan of reddit
  • Dave McClure, also runs an incubator 500Startups
  • Ellen Pao, previously at KPCB, now works at reddit
  • Jawed Karim, previously co-founder of YouTube
  • Jeremy Edberg, some guy
  • Josh Kushner, angel investor, Thrive Capital
  • Josh Schachter, previously founder of
  • Kanyi Maqubela, also runs CollabFund, fan of reddit
  • Keith Rabois, previously COO at Square, now at Khosla Ventures
  • Marc Andreessen, previously co-founder of Netscape, Opsware, now runs a16z
  • Paul Buchheit, previously made GMail and Friendfeed, now at YC
  • Yun-Fang Juan, previously at Facebook, worked on self-serve ads engineering

We asked all the angel investors to invest as themselves, not through their institutional venture funds (if they were affiliated with one). We’ve also asked them if any of them want to do AMAs, so you might see that in the near future.

Finally, reddit’s board consists of Alexis Ohanian (reddit’s co-founder), Bob Sauerberg (President of Condé Nast), and Yishan Wong (reddit’s CEO).

myth: reddit is making tons of money, so you are just lining someone’s pockets by buying reddit gold.

reality: reddit is not yet profitable. Here’s a numberless graph showing the (rough) relative difference between expenses vs revenues:

Expenses are projected through the end of 2013, revenues are as of 2013 Q2 - numbers have been removed to thwart would-be Wall Street analysts. The graph is derived from our internal accounting.

myth: reddit (or Condé Nast or Advance) is trying to clean up to go mainstream, to prep the site for a sale or IPO.

reality: reddit is not preparing to sell or do an IPO. We value our independence more than money, and the company was already acquired once before (by Condé Nast) and survived due to a rare instance of corporate benevolence/indifference. Other companies who sell themselves usually don’t end up so lucky, while going public (IPO) means having to answer to short-term shareholders and irrational market pressures. We don’t want to risk either of those.

Condé Nast / Advance also never wanted to sell reddit, and rejected offers to buy the site, instead electing to spin it out into an independent entity and take a lessened ownership position specifically because they felt that a standalone reddit would be far more successful, culturally significant, and (one day) profitable.

myth: reddit content is controlled by Condé Nast / Advance / old media companies / rich powerful people and manipulated to advance their interests.

reality: With the exceptions of a handful of incidents in very early years (e.g. Sears), none of reddit’s owners or investors have ever bothered to exercise influence over reddit’s operations or editorial decisions. Even reddit’s servers are controlled via an AWS account not shared with any other entity, only reddit administrators have access to it. Control of this account was also never transferred to or shared with Condé Nast during the period when they were owners of reddit.

myth: reddit pays for celebrities to do AMA interviews and writes all the answers for them.

reality: reddit does not get paid nor does it pay for celebrity AMAs. We also don’t write any answers for them. To be absolutely transparent, some or all of the following things do happen:

  • people contact us asking us to “allow them” to do an AMA
  • people contact us asking to pay for an AMA
  • reddit contacts people inviting them to do an AMA

In all of the above cases, we explain that an AMA is something that anyone with a notable life experience can do, and we may offer them help for free, in which “help” consists of helping schedule AMAs or explaining what an AMA really is and how to execute an AMA well - from signing up for a reddit account to what to expect from the audience to how much time they should try to set aside. We don’t accept payment for any of this - AMAs are by and for the community.

Sometimes people (e.g. studios, filmmakers) will buy ads on reddit to support an upcoming film or television show. While the ad campaign is running, they may also convince the actors to do an AMA — obviously they understand that this has positive promotional effects. Or, occasionally after a particularly good celebrity AMA, the celebrity (or their agency) will create an ad just to thank their fans — recent examples were J.Cole and John Malkovich.

myth: Olive Garden paid users to promote the restaurant.

reality: People just really love Olive Garden's unlimited breadstick baskets.

myth: My conspiracy theory wasn’t listed here! That means it must be true!

reality: That’s extremely unlikely. We probably just didn’t think of it while brainstorming this blog post. There are just so many.