Arts & Entertainment

Reddit 101

Joining the trend of 20-something-year-old IT protégées who change the world with a dot-com, Reddit was created by Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian not even a decade ago. It is now one of the easiest ways to find the best of what the Internet has to offer. Redditors often say to think of Google as where you go to search for things, and Reddit as a place to find them.

This is all accomplished through a well-thought-out system of user feedback and balloon systems. Balloons, in theory, can carry things further up the more you attach to them.  Reddit attaches and/or detaches these balloons from posts depending on their date published, relevance, and popularity. This is how you can be confident that the news you are getting is current and you aren’t missing any big stories. This job isn’t left to Reddit alone. This is where an interactive Internet comes into play. You can up-vote something, which acts as a form of validation, and the same works for down votes. Up-voted posts will be at the top, allowing for the most relevant posts to appear to you instantly. This is all assuming that the Internet is a generally “good” place. In theory, the Internet could up vote someone’s crazy soapbox rant about why the world will end tomorrow, which would most likely be up-voted in irony, but the Reddit community is surprisingly amazing. This sounds biased, but it’s not. YouTube users have been known for their obscene comments, which receive no filter in terms of order other than flagging them or removing them, making for a truly “fun” experience. You can still find those comments on Reddit, but because people are given the ability to up- and down-vote, they will be so far down that you will literally have to go out of your way to see something negative.

The other element that makes Reddit the future of receiving news is the amount of people who participate. I know that when I think of comments or people sharing their views, I would think of that over-opinionated archetype. But with Reddit, you will find doctors, lawyers, nurses, scientists, bodybuilders, locksmiths, all sharing their expertise within “subreddits.” So, why are all of these experts spending their time writing on Reddit probono? Like the rest of us, they are also looking to be experts on things, seeking advice on a broken garage, or figuring out how to gain muscle while losing fat in time for beach season. They just happen to see your post and chime in. I much prefer this form of community interaction and/or commentary rather than the old shot in the dark known as, “Letter to the Editor.”

But don’t forget that just like the Internet, you can find your daily required dosage of funny cat photos and everything “LOL.” The posts work the same as the news posts do, so don’t be surprised if everything you find is literally the funniest you have ever seen. This is because Reddit operates on what the world wants, rather than simple algorithms of ‘what’s new.’