Another way of finding what’s new and interesting on the World Wide Web, is call Reddit.
Launched in 2005 by two 22 year old graduates from the University of Virginia, Reddit is a social network news website, for, as they call it “News before it happens”. Users can post news that is happening right now in their area, before it gets to the big news organizations. They can post links to content they like on the internet and comment on what others have found. They can also comment on the comments and rank them. With a simple response of like or dislike users mark their interest in the story posted. Every positive reaction gets a +1, every negative reaction -1. The more positive reactions a comment or link gets, the higher up the link goes. The front page is constantly in motion as new stories are uploaded and voted on.
Since 2008, Reddit is an open source community of more than 370,000 where postings get indexed not by crawlers as is the case with search engines, but by users, based on interests, not keywords.
Reddit content is divided into sub-categories; pics, funny, politics, WTF, gaming, science, world news and more and is a good place to find popular articles or have a discussion. It is a place where you can market your own blog and get instant reactions.
The effectiveness of Reddit has been tested after the earthquake in Haiti. The community of Reddit users raised $185,000 for the victims of the earthquake.
Another example is about to happen. In September 2010 a Reddit poster started a campaign to persuade Stephen Colbert to have a rally in Washington DC. The idea was described in a post talking about a dream the poster had.
The idea resonated with the community and webpages and Facebook groups have been created. Social networking machine started spreading the idea. Colbert acknowledged the momentum and the followers, to prove that they are serious about it, managed to raise $100,000 in 24 hours to support a charity where Colbert sits on the board of directors.
Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are heading rallies in Washington DC on October 30, 2010 – a direct result of a campaign that started on Reddit.
Colbert challenged the community even more. He wanted to help teachers around the country get supplies for their classrooms, something that used to come out of the teacher’s pockets. Within 3 days the community raised $250,000.
The power of social networking sites has become a force to be reckoned with. Reddit in particular leverages its own network to rank and recognize the validity of what’s being shared. This gives Reddit added value to those looking for information that is relevant based on real user reviews and not spam.