The Reddit Community and Why It's Useful for Freethinkers

So you’ve used the reddit voting system, you got some hits and you love the minimalism of it. By now you may have even gotten a post on the front page by which point you may have noticed quite a lot of comments, a lot of them inane, while others are long-winded. Should you care or pay attention if they’re not commenting on your own blog?

They’re talking about your thoughts and opinions aren’t they?

If you’re like me, and your main purpose in blogging is to spread your knowledge and replicate your ideas in other minds, comments are your bread and butter. There’s nothing else I give more credence to, than receiving comments (well, receiving trackbacks is also nice) and apparently the reddit community is more than happy to do just that.

The reason why so many people comment on reddit, instead of your own site is the same reason reddit is attractive in the first place: Ease of Use. It is much simpler for a logged in redditor to leave a comment on the story link than to leave in the comments of a blog. This just reinforces my impression that comment usability is important.

Just compare how many comments Vjack’s latest (excellent) post has received, compared to how many are under the reddit story and you will see what I mean.

Another useful feature of reddit is that it makes it easier for people to continue a conversation once someone replies to them. It is not as good as getting an email as with Intense Debate, but as soon as someone visits reddit, they will be able to see that they have a new message, which is really the direct reply to a previous comment. This really keeps the conversation flowing, unlike a blog where unless someone subscribes to the comments, they will most likely forget. If you want people to pay attention to your writing, you have a chance to make them pay attention there ;)

Some may have some reservations about the quality of the comments that one may find in reddit. I’m glad to say that from personal experience, the maturity level of the redditors is quite higher than, say, digg. Not ony do you find great commentary but if you’re lucky, you can get some instant blogging material as well ;)

As you’d expect, comments can be voted as well. This has the effect of making the least liked comments drop to the bottom while having the more insightful ones immediately visible. Very good for avoiding trolling and finding the interesting stuff to reply to.

“What about Karma?” I hear you ask. Well, in reddit’s, it’s not a case of a silly woo-woo belief in metaphysical retribution but it is a semi-accurate representation of a user’s activity and success in reddit. You get rated both on the quality of your comments and your posts. It’s not really important but it’s nice to see increase.

One final thing, relating to the various subreddits. What I have noticed in the Atheosphere is that generally the same news keep being recycled over and over. At some point one can always read so much about Crackergate, pedophile priests and whatnot. Using the various subreddits to subscribe to the things that interest you will not only allow you to increase the various subjects you might write about but it can help you posts your articles in various categories and reach a wider audience.

Sometimes it is worth hearing opinions outside our limited circle of the Godless.


About this entry