Don’t Ever Laugh Out Loud on Reddit

“I want to gain Karma points”. That was my intention when I first started using Reddit a few days ago. For an instance, I thought that it must be an easy process: submitting some interesting stories, and adding some comments! And that’s it. It should work. Unfortunately, and after 2 hours on the site, I learnt otherwise. My aim suddenly shifted into trying hard to keep my Karma indicator positive.

What goes around comes around

I tried to be a good Reddit citizen. I voted up stories that interested me and refrained from voting down those who don’t. I cheered up insightful comments and added supportive ones. I have also made sure to submit good stories that would interest people. And then, I waited for a full circle, knowing that my good deeds would most definitely come back to me in the form of higher Karma points.

Obviously, being a good Reddit citizen doesn’t entail the above actions! It is more about submitting good quality stories and posting comments that are not redundant and which “add” to the conversations.

Laughing out loud

Laughing Out Loud

Laughing Out Loud

That was one of my very first mistakes. It cost me 3 comments karma points! I thought a comment was funny enough, and thus I just posted those damn 3 letters “LOL”, only to realize later on that this kind of comments is a NO NO at Reddit.

It has also taken me some time to realize what I had to do in order to control the damage of such mistakes. *Delete it* as fast as you can!

Polls and Rediquette

In a cheap attempt to gain some easy karma points, I posted a stupid poll about Microsoft’s new search engine – Bing -. At that time, I didn’t realize that “self” posts don’t add Karma points. I didn’t realize either that “self” polls are against the Reddit users’ etiquette. It is one thing to post a question or information using the “self” feature where you offer some value, and totally another thing to use it in a way that abuses the system.

Vote up if you think that you are never going to use Bing

Vote up if you think that you are never going to use Bing

It only came to my awareness when barsoap – a Reddit user – shouted at me “Read the damn Rediquette”. He is so right, Rediquette is a must read for every new Reddit user. I would suggest for Reddit to add it as an optional step for people to read while signing up for an account.

Catchy titles

As much as a submission needs to be good, as much as its title needs to be catchy. Reddit only shows titles without any description below it. If you want your story to be read, then you better come up with a catchy title.

Catchy Titles

Catchy Titles

It took me 21 submissions to come up with a catchy title for a story that seems to catch up some attention. The story has been submitted by 2 other people with its original title but hasn’t picked up like my own submission.

Two other submissions of the same story

Two other submissions of the same story

Last word

Reddit users are a tough crowd. You need to go the extra mile by making sure you’re submitting good and worthy-of-reading content. The crowd over there won’t mercy you. Success on Reddit has a lovely taste, because you feel that you have really got rewarded for your hard work. It may have been a hard start for me, but maybe one day I would make it like QGYH2 and collect even more than his 259683 karma points. He has been over there for 2 years now. Let’s see how it goes.

Did you face any similar situations, or made any mistakes while playing around Reddit.com? Join the discussion by leaving a comment and sharing your experience…

Comments and Reactions

  • http://teamnirvana.com/blog Team Nirvana

    That's really a pain in the a$$ when it comes to loose the reputation that's so hard to get.

    I priorly tried to understand and dwell well on Reddit, but as good things take time, which I hadn't any. So, I assume it's better to befriend some of the top echelon on reddit and promote your articles.

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com Amer Kawar

    You're right, but most people with no time to become top-reddit-users are thinking the same thing, which means that the top users already have their 'Please help me out on reddit' filters on max.

    For me, I guess investing some time in it is the way to go. :)

  • http://www.magicksandwich.org kathcom

    Thank you for the information on Rediquette. I will look at it today.
    I have been on reddit for a while and have no karma. I read somewhere that if you submit something to the subreddit “funny” it had better be a laugh riot or you'll be voted down mercilessly.
    I do reddit my own blog posts but I try to submit and vote up other things that I like as well. One of my posts got some traffic to my blog but otherwise, no. I haven't had anyone be rude to me yet in the comments, so I take that as a good sign. I'll also be subscribing to your feed. Thanks again!

  • http://autom.x.iabc.com/ Autom

    Nice analysis, Fadi. I've heard mix reviews from other people about Reddit. This post just makes me even feel even more reticent about giving it a whirl. I'm sure the folks at Reddit have something 'interesting' going (let's leave that very colourful adjective to speak volumes shall we?) But the overall community vibe sounds exclusionary, far too fastidious for random expression or creativity..and karma points? Reminds of my head-scratching moments with Plurk.

    Don't get me wrong, I would be the first to vouche for weaving in the value of karma into a community experience. And I certainly appreciate how certain social sites have their unique flavours and idiosynchracies. But perhaps, the somewhat ascetic approach (LOL bans? really? what happened to free spirited interaction and opennes?) is a tad sifling for my taste.

    I'd never say never of course and please don't think that your post has turned me off Reddit..well, to be honest, the site just never appealed to me.

    Different strokes I guess. Here's my final thought, which I welcome everyone to LOL on: reddit? got it? good.

    :-P Autom

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/ Beiruta

    Dear @FadiPick…

    Great post! I admire the way you have managed to use your personal experience to offer advice and deep insights to Reddit users who might be facing the same problems earning karma on Reddit, no matter what they try to do!

    My karma on Reddit is low compared to many users and my comment karma is even lower! Your post made me realize exactly what I was doing wrong, mainly, my comment karma was being decreased due to the “LOL” use! If it weren't for you post, I would have never found out what I was doing wrong!

    I hope other Reddit users will find and both vote up this informative post and benefit from it as much as I did.

    Thanks.

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/ FadiPick

    Kathcom, you are right. Reddit crowd are MERCILESS! I usually get as many vote downs as vote ups! Sometime it is hard to figure out why. But at the end of the day, maybe it is a good way to push us to try to submit quality content as much as we can.

    I loved the boyfriend pillow gift for lonely friends on your blog! hehehe :)

    What is your reddit user name? I will add you as a friend.

    Thanks for subscribing to our feed. You won't be disappointed :)

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/ FadiPick

    Actually Autom, I would advise you to give it a try and be patient about it :)

    Reddit didn't grab my attention when I first stumbled on it, maybe due to its interface (it is not as cute as twitter or cool as mixx, and it did frustrate me when I started to be active and felt some hostility in the air. But then, I felt so excited when a story that I have submitted managed to hit the top rank at some point! Maybe it is the challenge behind it that makes success tastes better.

    It can be fun afterall :)

    cheers man..

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/ FadiPick

    @Beiruta, hey, it has been tough at first! Almost frustrating! it is quiet challenging! hehehe, no you know to be careful about the “LOL”, if you must write it down, do it in a very long comment ;)

    and read the rediquette, it helps :)

  • josh

    What about lollerskating? is that allowed?

  • http://www.adampieniazek.com/ AdamPieniazek

    Your first mistake was focusing on karma points. Reddit is really a place where you have to put your ego/self-promotion aside and focus on contributing to the community. Being helpful (adding info to stories via links or explanations in comments) goes a ways there.

    Having said that, some of my silliest comments got me a bunch of karma points while some of my more thought provoking comments got no play.

    And you're right about headlines, they're absolutely crucial on reddit.

    The merciless thing is one of my favorite aspects of reddit, keeps the noise factor to a minimum.

  • http://www.adampieniazek.com/ AdamPieniazek

    Also, don't self submit. It works sometimes but usually fails. I actually went to submit this with the title of “The Trials & Tribulations of a Reddit Newbie” which might have gotten some play, but alas, you already submitted it….

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/ FadiPick

    Hi Adam, that would have been a better catchy title for reddit! Thanks for the tips. I agree, Reddit is more about contributing to the community. Too bad I didn't wait for you to submit the post!

  • http://blog.usaseopros.com/2009/06/11/6-tips-for-behavior-and-managing-social-media-community-profiles/ 6 Tips for Behavior and Managing Social Media Community Profiles | USASEOPros Blog

    [...] found this interesting blog post about never LOL-ing on Reddit. If you

  • http://www.magicksandwich.org kathcom

    My reddit user name is kathcom
    http://www.reddit.com/user/kathcom

    Thanks!

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/ FadiPick

    Cool, I will add you as a friend :)

  • sal

    I can't think of a single forum, messageboard or social networking board where just posting “LOL” after a comment or story doesn't mark you out as either a 13 year old girl or someone running up post count for some reason. I find it incredible that someone who has been using the internet for more than 3 days had to 'learn' that.

  • http://diamondtearz.org diamondTearz

    Heading over the the Reddiquette!

  • http://www.rj67.com/?p=67 6 Tips for Behavior and Managing Social Media Community Profiles | RJ67

    [...] found this interesting blog post about never LOL-ing on Reddit. If you’re trying to promote a business or brand, that’s probably sound [...]

  • http://www.nike-air-force-one.com air force 1 shoes

    I've been looking for a similar to this post. Not only extensively but also detailly. We can learn a lot from the post. I recommend to you , you can come communication in here. Let us grow up together.On the other hand ,I know some websites content is very well.you can go and see.Such as Air force 1 mid

  • Dirty

    You shouldn't be on Reddit to get karma. What a sad falacy.

  • Christie

    Reddit, I can’t figure that crap out, besides all they ever do is talk about Cats and Deus Ex.

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