A review of reddit…

Bryony Czujko

July 24th, 2012

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reddit, the ‘front page of the internet’, doesn’t make the internet look very pretty at all. With its seemingly non-branded typeface or any particular recognisable colour scheme, reddit literally looks like it’s been thrown together by a web designer from the stone age. With its overloaded, unstructured look, it’s no wonder why some users dismiss the website at first glance. However, after a few minutes of familiarising myself, I’ve come to realise that no fancy images or graphics serves the purpose to fit more information on the page. This could be good for some users, for others it will turn their eyes funny.

At first glance the content seemed to read like another version of the Mail Online (pointless gossip, shocking headlines, etc). Another similarity I found with reddit was Yahoo Ask – yes the overly addictive advice website that you used to find yourself trawling through in your teens (or was that just me?). Like Yahoo Ask, a lot of the questions asked are totally irrelevant to you but you’re just too nosey to stop reading.

One thing I did like though was the ‘sub-reddit’ categories. Apparently posting on the relevant sub-reddit is beneficial if you want to gain page views and drive traffic to your post or website. ‘Announcements’, ‘Funny’, ‘Movies’, ‘Science’ and ‘Technology’ are some just to name a few. This makes it easier to navigate around the website, providing some kind of structure and organisation to find the things you want to read about.

Another thing I liked was that you also come across quite a few news stories – stories that may not be main stream headliners but nevertheless are of interest to the users of, e.g. the ‘science’ sub-reddit user. In fact, posts on reddit could very well produce news-worthy stories themselves. For example, this was one of the first posts I came across, very inspiring and obviously ranked very high. The fact that users can vote for an article helps underline its credibility and human interest. With so many different posts being uploaded every second, the voting button allows the chance for some posts to get high exposure if voted well. Unlike Twitter, which trends One Direction about 90% of the time, the text-filled site can fit many more trending posts on one page, making the site’s content interesting to a wider amount of users.

There is a downside to reddit’s ‘voting system’, however. The reddit community is split into cliques who will collectively vote down an article they don’t like, quickly discrediting your post. However, reddit posts can also inspire people (such as the one above), bringing the online community together. Unlike Twitter, comment threads are easily visible up and down the page and, unlike Facebook you don’t have to ‘like’ a particular page to see the post – it is visible to everybody!

It was quite interesting to see this though. Before writing this post I found an article that stated that the website, Digg, has suffered a huge fall in usage. If this is true then why does reddit, its competitor, navigate users away from the website once they have clicked a link or post? Every other social site opens into an external window. It is not doing itself any favours by sending its users elsewhere! Posts that link to competitor sites such as Tumblr or Flickr can be getting their users handed to them on a plate. Silly reddit…

Something to watch out for is that the website is very highly America-orientated. It is obvious that the majority of users are from the USA and so a lot of content may be irrelevant or uninteresting to users in other countries or cultures.

Anyway, I’m going to wrap this up now. I think it’s safe to say I won’t really be going on reddit again. With unmoderated posts and topics being discussed, every online conversation going off on a tangent and an overdose of hyped-up American teenage culture, I don’t think reddit is the place for me.

Rating = 2.5/5 (Sorry reddit – that’s just my opinion!!)

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