Facebook and Twitter might have the largest userbases among social networking sites, but they’ve got nothing on the extremely tight-knit Reddit community.
Reddit, for those unfamiliar with it, is an online-forum-slash-social-network of registered users (who may or may not be anonymous) from all over the world. Its slogan “The Front Page of the Internet” can’t be more fitting; most of the viral hits that are shared on “pop” websites like Buzzfeed and UpWorthy were sourced from frontpage submissions that first appeared on Reddit. If you’re fond of reading clickbait articles (You Won’t Believe What this Man Did on Christmas Day, Awesome Pictures from Around the World, Teenager Sells Startup for a Million Dollars- you know the drill), then chances are, you’re reading something that was first discussed about and commented on by Reddit users.
Reddit Culture 101
Reddit is not just one big online forum; it’s divided into small, independent, sub-forums called “subreddits” that have different points of interest from one another. For example, /r/aww is a subreddit filled with pictures of cute things (e.g. babies, kittens, puppies), while /r/philosophy is full of submissions and discussions about philosophy. Users can submit content of their own, or comment on the content already submitted by others. The site also has its own sort of reputation indicator called “Karma.” Whenever someone upvotes a comment or a submission made by a user, that user gains Karma; the reverse happens when a user receives downvotes. The most popular submissions of the day are displayed on the front page.
With an overwhelming plethora of subreddits that are dedicated to every imaginable topic under the sun, you’re bound to find something that you’ll like on the site. This is a great way to spend downtimes (especially when you’re compiling code!) or to learn about new things that can help you in your career.
Tips and Tricks to Make the Most Out of Reddit
1. Sign up for an account
While you can browse Reddit even without signing up, you won’t be able to do much on the site. Becoming a reddit user means you’ll be able to save favorite subreddits, submit submissions of your own, plus vote and comment on the submissions of others. Don’t worry- Reddit won’t spam you with unwanted newsletters. In fact, you can even sign up without giving out your email! You just need to specify a username and password, then you’re good to go.
2. Save all of your favorite subreddits
Are you a budding coder? Then go hang out with fellow learners at /r/learnprogramming or /r/cscareerquestions. There are also platform-oriented subreddits like /r/iOSprogramming, or /r/androiddev. If you want your daily dose of interesting general info, then have /r/todayilearned, /r/askreddit, and /r/IamA saved on your account. You can group all of your saved subreddits into one big page called a multireddit, so you won’t have to deal with posts and submissions from the general Reddit populace.
3. Understand the quirks of the community
Redditors love their inside jokes and references (that outsiders might find incomprehensible and weird). If you’re a newbie and you don’t get what other users are saying, then don’t worry, you’ll understand them soon enough. But the community has its own rules and conventions that all users should learn about since disobeying them would unleash the a fury of downvotes from angry Redditors and moderators. Examples would be absent attribution for posted content, reposting and resubmitting content made by other users, and blatant online marketing efforts like incessantly posting links to one’s own website and products. Most of the rules can be found on the reddiquette page at www.reddit.com/wiki/reddiquette.
4. Know valuable shortcuts and “cheats”
Do you want comments to be read like a live chat stream (with newest posts displayed on top)? Then edit the URL of your subreddit like so: www.reddit-stream.com/r/subredditname/comments.
For picture heavy subreddits like /r/pics, you can view all of the photo submissions by appending a “p” at the “reddit” in the URL. Example: redditp.com/r/subredditname.
Most of the comments that you’ll make on reddit will be in plain text, but if you want to add a little bit of style in your text, then you can try learning Markup syntax. Here you can add special characters, insert quotes, and do other fancy things with your comments.
And last, but definitely, not the least…
5. Install the Reddit Enhancement Suite on your browser
This extension does exactly what it says on the tin. It enhances your reddit browsing with spiffy features and tools like a customized dashboard, infinite scrolling, in-line image viewing, and multiple user log-ins. It also makes the site look more pretty. You can grab it here.
Reddit can be a little intimidating at first but with these tips you should be a pro “redditor” in no time!