A Beginners Guide To Reddit

Reddit

Reddit

To the uninitiated, Reddit looks like a mess — text links, comment threads, points, upvotes, downvotes. At best, posts seem contextless — at worst, totally random.

But spend some quality time with “The Front Page of the Internet,” and you’ll find it’s an essential resource, a self-correcting marketplace of ideas that’s nearly impervious to marketers.

Simply put, Reddit is a message board wherein users submit links. What differentiates it from a real-time information network like Twitter is that the stream of content is curated by the community. Items of value are “upvoted,” and those deemed unworthy are “downvoted.” This determines a post’s position on the site, and items that hit the front page are seen by hundreds of thousands of people (consequently, sending boatloads of traffic to the linked website).

This type of voting system was popularized by Digg, which launched in late 2004. Reddit came soon after in 2005, and the two were competitive. But what really distinguishes Reddit to this day is the community. The type of content that’s valued, the discussion around it, and the diligence with which users vet and expand on important topics is unmatched. As such, the front page is usually populated with things that will make you think, laugh out loud, and motivate you to dig a little deeper.

If you’re ready to tap in but not sure where to start, check out our overview below.

Live the Reddit Culture

 

If Facebook is your hometown, think of Reddit as a foreign country. You don’t speak the language, the customs are odd, and you often won’t know what’s going on.

That’s OK. Just spend some time there. Check out the site at least once a day — more, if you really want to see how content moves around. Don’t just visit the outbound links, but dig into the comment threads to see what people are talking about.

Reddit is extremely self-referential. If you see something posted that doesn’t make sense, it’s likely referencing an aspect of Reddit culture (a previous post, a meme — something popular from the site). Often, you’ll be able to pin down the reference point in the comments. Other users who want clarification will upvote commenters who explain things, thus bringing the value to the top of the thread.

Comments are key. They are arguably the most important (and often, most entertaining) part of the site. Just because something has been upvoted to the front page does not necessarily mean it’s legitimate. If it’s been there long enough, there’s a good chance the top comment will be a user citing contradictory sources or questioning the merit of the article in question.

Thus, the community can self-regulate in ways that Facebook and Twitter cannot. In theory, the most valuable discussion always bubbles to the top (more on this below).

You won’t figure it out on day one. But if you check back often, you’ll start to absorb the culture. You’ll begin to see what has value and what is suspicious. And as you drill down into verticals that interest you (subreddits), you’ll find passionate communities engaged in discussion you won’t find elsewhere.

The Front Page and Subreddits

The Reddit homepage consists of content submitted to the site’s most popular channels, or “subreddits” — Pics, Technology, WorldNews, Music, Gaming, etc. New users (and visitors who are not logged in) are automatically subscribed to these top channels.

Gaming SubredditAs you discover more niche communities, you can subscribe to those subreddits, which will push popular posts from those channels to your homepage. You can always browse those individual subreddits directly, of course.

If a subreddit gains enough subscribers, it can become part of the default homepage, thus driving additional traffic and subscribers. Communities like r/atheism andr/minecraft have come into their own over the past year, and now appear regularly on the front page.

If you don’t want to see content from a particular subreddit on your homepage, simply unsubscribe from it by clicking the red button at the top-right of that community. Use subscriptions to create a highly customized front page for your account.

Multireddits

 

new reddit sidebar

Image: Reddit

 

Multireddits are customizable groupings of subreddits through which users can navigate the communities of their choosing without being weighed down by the overbearing front page. They appear as an expandable sidebar and are easily created by clicking the “create” button and entering subreddits of your choosing. You can also view other users public multireddits and, if you like them, can create a copy of their curation for your own sidebar.

Upvoting, Downvoting and Score

When you’re logged in to Reddit, you’ll be able to upvote and downvote items to help determine their rank. You get one vote per item, but you can change it after it’s logged.

The number appearing between the up and down arrows is the submission’s score: the number of upvotes minus the number of downvotes. According to Reddit’s FAQ, these numbers are “fuzzed” to prevent spam and abuse.

“On average, the difference in votes is accurate, but the fuzzing is — well, fuzzy,” says Erik Martin, Reddit’s general manager. “At any given moment, the difference may fluctuate very slightly, but over time the average difference is accurate.”

 

 

Reddit Score Image

You may also notice that posts with the highest score do not always rank at the top. This is due to Reddit’s time decay algorithm. Posts on the front page are obviously more visible, and therefore have a higher chance of being upvoted. But the site wouldn’t be valuable if the same content remained on the front page all day.

“The decay means that a 12-hour-old post must have 10 times as many points as a brand new post to appear at similar ranks,” explains Martin. “This also means any given story has a roughly a 24 hour max lifespan on any user’s front page.” This allows newer content to surface at the top of the heap.

If you really want to get into the weeds on how Reddit’s “hot algortithm” works, Martin recommends this blog post by programmer Amir Salihefendic.

Sort Submissions

Seeing what the “hive mind” has already deemed worthy of the front page is fun, but every submission has to start somewhere.

If you want to see fresh submissions, click the “new” tab at the top of the front page or choose a subreddit. There, you’ll see things that have been submitted moments ago, and you can play a role in building their momentum, or downvoting them into oblivion. Be warned: Most of the content you’ll find here is probably uninspired, but you never know what gems you might discover.

 

 

Reddit Sort Posts

Find out which content is picking up steam by click the “rising” link. This will show you posts within the “new” tab that are gaining traction, but aren’t quite front page material yet.

You can also select the “controversial” tab to see which posts are battlegrounds for upvotes vs. downvotes.

What’s Karma?

 

Reddit Profile

Reddit Karma is an accumulation of “goodwill” you receive when users upvote your posts or comments. It doesn’t give you any overt influence and it cannot be cashed in for fabulous prizes, but a healthy amount of Karma on your profile alerts others that you add value to the community.

 

There are two types of Karma: one for links and one for comments. Both are displayed on your user profile in the upper right-hand corner and are to be worn as badges of honor.

The Lingo

Shorthand and acronyms are persistent on Reddit. You’ll become familiar with them as you spend time on the site.

Here’s a crash course to get you started:

  • OP: Original Poster“According to the OP, the image was taken from The New York Times.”
  • TIL: Today I learned…“TIL that taxonomically, modern-day birds aren’t just descended from dinosaurs, but are considered to BE dinosaurs.”
  • DAE: Does anyone else…“DAE think that Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street should have their own full-length sitcom?”
  • IAmA: I am a….“IAmA Police Officer in Arizona, AMA”
  • AMA: Ask me anything.“I have had 2 ACL reconstructions. AMA.”
  • TL;DR: Too Long; Didn’t Read“[After a long, detailed story] TL;DR I went to Vegas, found a monkey in my hotel room, and lived ‘The Hangover’ in real life.”
  • FTFY: Fixed that for you.When someone makes a change to another user’s post or image, often with humorous results.

Submitting Content

 

 

Reddit Link Submission

Submitting a link to Reddit couldn’t be simpler. Title your post, paste the URL and choose the subreddit you want it to appear in. The most-subscribed subreddits will appear as suggestions, but you can type in any existing category.

Click submit and watch your post fly to the front page. Or not. More than 70,000 links are shared to Reddit each day, according to Martin. So the likelihood of yours picking up steam is slim. But there are a few things you can do to get it seen in a sea of content.

  • Target the Right Community: A picture of your adorable bunny might have a better shot at reaching the top of r/rabbits (2,767 subscribers) than r/aww (864,407 subscribers) simply because it’s a smaller, more focused audience. However, because r/rabbits does not have enough subscribers to hit the default front page, you won’t see your bunny there.
  • Humor: Redditors have a penchant for wit. Regardless of subject matter, top posts and comments are likely humorous. Funny pics, funny stories, meme/web culture and self-referential humor are big here. If you’re still new to the community, a lot of the banter may not make much sense. Stick with it. Eventually, you’ll find that today’s top post is tomorrow’s punchline, and only the regulars will know when to laugh.
  • Political Awareness: If you’re looking for political news and opinion, Reddit (and its dedicated Politics subreddit) is a great place to get your fix and participate in the conversation. The community tends to skew liberal (occasionally bordering on libertarian), but there’s no shortage of conservative and moderate voices to balance the discussion. Controversial political topics are often found and discussed on the front page.
  • Knowledge: Interesting facts, in-depth reads and first-hand personal stories often perform well on Reddit. The acronym “TIL” stands for “Today I Learned,” and there’s adedicated subreddit for sharing eye-opening facts. We like to highlight the most fascinating factoids found on Reddit each week.

Text Formatting

The links you submit only warrant a title, but text posts (non-link submissions, also known as “Self Posts”) and comments can be formatted to include their own links and emphasis. Formatting is done with Markdown syntax, which is different from HTML. Below is a cheat sheet from the Reddit help section:

YOU TYPE: YOU SEE:
*italics* italics
**bold** bold
super^script superscript
~~strikethrough~~ strikethrough
[reddit!](http://reddit.com) reddit!
(tab or 4 spaces)preformatted text preformatted text
blah blah `inline code text!` blah blah blah blah inline code text blah blah
\*escape the formatting syntax\* *escape the formatting syntax*

Zero Tolerance of Marketers, Fakers and Spammers

Disingenuous posts or comments don’t last long on Reddit. The community is extremely skeptical of marketers and diligent about policing spam. Any such activity is quickly downvoted out of sight. Whereas brands are encouraged to connect with users on Facebook and Twitter, the Reddit community is generally uninterested in marketers intruding on the conversation.

There are rare exceptions, however. Very savvy marketers have found a way into Reddit by creating content the community is genuinely interested in.

Degree antiperspirant tapped into a popular meme about survival show star Bear Grylls. The celebrity did an AMA where he responded to questions about wilderness survival, via YouTube videos hosted on a sponsored site called The Adrenalist. We’ve also seen popular comedians like Louis C.K. and Aziz Ansari do AMAs to promote their comedy specials.

However, we’ve also seen this type of Reddit marketing backfire. When actor Woody Harrelsondid an AMA to promote his forthcoming movie, he ignored some of users’ more pointed questions and instead hawked the film. Reddit quickly turned on him, and it became a PR debacle.

As Reddit user vinceredd points out in the comments of that thread, “Reddit isn’t a good venue to pitch your movie, it’s a venue to pitch yourself.”

Mobile Apps

 

 

BaconReader Image

Taking Reddit on the go is a great way to keep up with the Internet zeitgeist. Reddit.com is a lightweight site, and will render easily on most smartphones. But if you’re looking for a more sophisticated mobile experience, there are some great apps available.

Android

  • BaconReader: This robust mobile app offers a great UI and all the functionality of the full site. Drill down into the comments and bring up options on any thread by swiping left or right. Our one gripe is the inability to share Reddit URLs via other apps (Gmail, Twitter, etc.). However, you can easily share the content. BaconReader is ad supported, but you can pay $1.99 for the ad-free premium version.
  • Reddit Is Fun: Thanks to some recent updates, this app has come into its own in terms of user experience. It offers rich functionality as above, a “Dark Theme” for nighttime browsing, and the ability to view any thread in your phone’s browser. You can grab the ad-free premium version here.

iOS

  • iReddit: Reddit offers its own really sleek iPhone app that lets you swipe through your customized homepage and view content without leaving the app’s environment. It also functions nicely on the iPad.
  • Alien Blue: Alien Blue for iOS is a fluid, organized Reddit viewing tool for your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. The app supports multiple accounts, has a night-mode and is updated regularly.

Ready?

Hopefully you’ve got what you need to navigate Reddit’s front page and beyond. Give it a shot, and let us know in the comments if we’ve left out any critical factors.

By Matt Silverman

Get On Top Today! Call OTM Online Advertising Agency. 866.610.5977

http://OTMAdvertisingAgency.com

The Beginners Guide To Tumblr

Tumblr

Tumblr     Tumblr is a micro-blogging platform that churns out millions of posts on a daily basis. There are currently 108.6 million blogs on Tumblr, which might seem intimidating to anyone not already using it.

Tumblr could be useful to you for many reasons, depending on what you’re looking to get out of it, for example, inspiration, scrapbooking, communication or a portfolio.

The site is a mix of bloggers, brands and tastemakers. But to keep it simple, there are essentially two types of bloggers on Tumblr: those who create original content and those who curate, or re-blog posts.

Depending on how you want to utilize the platform, this guide will help you move from a Tumblr novice to power blogger.

1. Getting Started

 

Tumblr registration is simple: You only need an email address, password and username. However, considering the amount of existing blogs on Tumblr, it’s possible that you won’t get your first choice of username.

With Tumblr, you can change your URL later, so if you absolutely hate it down the road, that can be fixed — but keep in mind that change will affect SEO.

Be sure to upload a default image, too, to complete your profile.

2. What Do I Do With This?

Once you have an account, there are a number of following options, depending on how you want to utilize the site.

Some use Tumblr to write and create original content, for example, to document lifestyle, travels, milestones or to showcase work.

Tumblr hosts some hilarious parody and nostalgia blogs that cater to specific persons, places or things.

If you’re not creating your own content, Tumblr is also great for curating. Many users browse the web for the best and most interesting things they can find. It’s up to you to decide what that is: hilarious videos, inspiring quotes, breathtaking photos? Whether you like animals, fashion, art, music, film or just a random assortment of interesting finds, decide what you want to blog about before going further.

3. Customizing

Aside from suiting your blog to your personality, one of the most fun things about Tumblr is the ability to customize themes. Tumblr themes offer the ability to customize the look, feel and functionality of your blog.

Try to avoid the default theme, simply because there are hundreds more to choose from, and many talented designers have put a lot of effort into them.

Some themes are free, but if you really want your blog to stand out, consider paying for a premium theme that offers more personalized options.

Once you’ve selected a theme, you can customize further by editing HTML, changing colors or font type, adding a background image or adding pages.

4. The Dashboard

Tumblr’s dashboard is really user-friendly, no matter the format of content you want to post.

If you’re not ready to publish a post, or want to come back to it later, you can either save as a draft or schedule it in the queue. Both options are on the right side of the dashboard, or in the pull-down menu when you’re trying to post content.

At the top of the dashboard, next you your profile picture, you’ll see a series of colorful icons labeled by format: text, photo, video, etc. Depending on what you’re trying to share, the options in each individual post box are really easy to figure out.

For added convenience, you can place the Tumblr bookmarklet at the top of your web browser.

The tabs at the top of the dashboard allow you to filter between views: either just your posts or those from people you follow. (We’ll talk more about your followers later.) If you want to see your posts in the back-end, click on your tab. To view it as your chosen theme, click on your profile picture.

Each post in the dashboard has a series of buttons at the top-right, which let you engage with others by re-blogging and liking their posts. (This is where the distinction between original content creator vs. curator is most prominent.) Most original content bloggers don’t re-blog very often because they are publishing to a certain style or subject.

However, the more followers you have, the more quickly their posts move on your dashboard — remember, there are millions of posts each day. If you want to keep all of your favorite posts in one place, the little heart at the right corner of each post is your friend. You can then click the heart tab on the far-right to access all of the things you’ve liked in one place.

5. Navigation

By now, you should be set up and ready to “tumble.” But half the fun is discovering what other people are posting, especially if you’re using the platform to curate, or re-blog. So, how do you find other interesting people and blogs?

Tumblr has a series of tags, which you can view in Explore, that separate individual posts by different interests — for example art, humor, music, fashion, television, etc.

A select group of people manage each tag and hand-pick posts best-suited for the category.

Additionally, Spotlight is a Tumblr feature that showcases various noteworthy blogs within each tag.

6. Connecting With People

Tumblr is not just for self-engagment. There are a number of ways to connect with people you know and reach out to new people.

First of all, by authorizing Gmail, Twitter and Facebook, you can see which of your friends are already using the platform.

If you’d like to reach out to someone privately, see the envelope icon at the top-right, where you can send a message. The feature offers different styles of paper-themed backgrounds and fonts, which makes each message seem more personal.

Some users have also enabled the “Ask Me Anything” feature. Keep in mind the user can post any question on his site, but you can always opt to ask anonymously.

7. Mobile

Once you’ve successfully navigated the basics of Tumblr, take your blogging on-the-go with the platform’s free mobile app — available for iOS and Android.

The mobile app’s features are pretty similar to the website, except that the dashboard appears slightly more minimal. Otherwise, all of the things explained above are available on mobile — you can still post all the same formats of multimedia, and even customize your blog.

Tumblr is as vast as it’s never-ending dashboard — there’s a lot more to the site, but this overview should give you a good head start.

What tips do you have for someone testing out Tumblr for the first time? Share your advice in the comments.

 By Christine Erickson

Get On Top Today! Call OTM Online Advertising Agency. 866.610.5977

http://OTMAdvertisingAgency.com