Redditors, here is what you vote up for…

Reddit is a tough environment; its crowd is both vocal and opinionated. Reddit is built in a way that focuses on conversation and dialogue. Comments have karma points of their own, which in a way guarantees their quality as much as the submitted stories.

Thank you jyoungest1 for the picture

Thank you jyoungest1 for the picture

redditors take pride and believe that they have better quality stories than other social bookmarking sites, but what really makes a story popular on Reddit is not only its quality but also its innovative catchy title. Reddit doesn’t provide a space for a short description for the submitted stories. It is something to pay attention to when submitting a story. On Reddit, a descriptive title is A MUST.

So, what do redditors vote for in term of categories, stories and titles?

Controversy: With a system that has dialogue as its core feature; controversial stories become an instant magnet for redditors’ attention. Miss California may have made the biggest mistake of her life; with one sentence she managed to upset not only the gay community but also Reddit’s crowd.

  1. Who else disgusted with California this morning over Prop 8? [5984 points, 1638 comments]
  2. Is this a Joke? Microsoft’s version of Browser Comparison [2943 points, 1271 comments]
  3. Are you afraid? I have ZERO worry about terrorism affecting my life. However, I fear my government’s actions daily. [2656 points, 535 comments]
  4. What Kind Of Country Do You Live In Where You Can Prosecute A President For 3 Years For A Consensual Blowjob, But Can’t Prosecute One For Torture? [2618 points, 346 comments]
  5. Do You Want To Decriminalize and Legalize non-medical Marijuana in the United States [2545 points, 346 comments]
A tired Cat

A tired Cat

Funny and Weird: Whether it is the worst name for a restaurant picture, tired animals pictures or even pictures of geek babies; anything funny or weird enough would attract redditors attention to vote it up.

  1. Arnold doing accent (deleted scene in T3) [956 points, 372 comments]
  2. Pepsi Logo: a response [3284 points, 553 comments]
  3. 18 year old drew 60ft cock on roof of parents’ million pound house [2255 points, 515 comments]
  4. Skittles Vodka Tutorial (w/ Pictures) [1733 points, 502 comments]
  5. Dog Running in his Sleep [1510 points, 304 comments]

Anti-religious: Atheism is one of the major Reddit sub-categories. With 49755 subscribers, one can derive an idea of how much redditors love religion!

  1. Should we, as atheists, respect the notion of B.C. and A.D.? [0 points, 180 comments]
  2. College students were asked to name their favorite book. Those who said “The Holy Bible” had the lowest average SAT scores (980) [945 points, 509 comments]
  3. “To criticise a person for their race is manifestly irrational and ridiculous but to criticise their religion – that is a right. That is a freedom. The freedom to criticise ideas—any ideas even if they are sincerely held beliefs—is one of the fundamental freedoms of society” Rowan Atkinson [830 points, 172 comments]
  4. Atheist jailed for sexually assaulting boys. Just kidding, he was a Catholic Priest.
    [724 points, 237 comments]
  5. Did you know God prefers Atheists? [comic] [701 points, 122 comments]

Touching the Human-side: Reddit’s crowds may be tough in voting down bad stories, but they related strongly to humanly touching stories.

  1. 10 year old girl with cancer too sick to see UP. Pixar flies a DVD to her home. She dies 7 hours later. [4480 points, 1103 comments]
  2. An unarmed student was shot last night at my college during a marijuana raid, please give this some attention! [4061 points, 633 comments]
  3. My mom died in 2006 after an 8 month battle with lung cancer..and this is the charity event I am hosting on Long Island this Saturday, 4/25, in her memory. Pls upvote help me spread the word….thx reddit! [3899 points, 371 comments]
  4. I was stopped by Homeland Security at JFK Airport upon returning from a vacation to Syria. What I saw in the hours that followed shocked and disturbed me. [3509 points, 648 comments]
  5. Reddit. Yesterday some of the computer savvy members of your fine internet community helped me find my birth mother. I waited 21 years to get to talk to her and last night we talked for hours. I can never thank you all enough. I honestly mean that more than you will ever know. [2997 points, 298 comments]

Questions, tips and personal messages: redditors love to help each other and others around the world. They like to feel that they are adding value to their communities in a way or another. They also feel proud to have better quality submissions that other social bookmarking websites, and thus cheer up for anyone acknowledging that.

  1. Has Reddit been taken over by children or diggers now? Long and interesting articles get downvoted instantly and buried without time for any human to have read any of it while immature crap of all sorts makes instant first page? [3469 points, 1154 comments]
  2. Reddit: Volunteer for Obama HERE. It’s time for reddit to do its part. Frontpage this link until Obama is President [2668 points, 233 comments]
  3. Redditer draws supreme picture to a Digg fan. [4261 points, 716 comments]
  4. Anyone else go to start reading an article you’re mildly interested in, look at the bottom and see (Page 1 of 6) and just give up? [3391 points, 425 comments]
  5. Pls stop using TinyURL for posts – Reddit doesn’t care how small a URL is, and we should know where that link goes. [3284 points, 381 comments]

News headlines: People love fresh news, and love even more the ability to talk about them with like-minded people. We all know that Obama winning the presidency has been last year’s biggest news. It comes to no surprise that it made it to the top spot of Reddit’s all time popular submissions and triggered a very long and interesting debate.Along the same line, the past few days had the Iranian elections making the buzz on Reddit. News about Iran has been dominating a good portion of Reddit’s conversations, lately.

  1. Obama wins the Presidency! [8537 points, 1908 comments]
  2. Obama to Palin:”Don’t mock the Constitution. Don’t make fun of it. Don’t suggest that it’s not American to abide by what the founding fathers set up. It’s worked pretty well for over 200 years.” [2793 points, 864 comments]
  3. The man who leaked the real election results from the Interior Ministry – the ones showing Ahmadinejad coming third – was killed in a suspicious car accident (11:00am Posting) [2284 points, 269 comments]
  4. Iranian state media photoshops pro-Ahmadinejad rally to make it look like there’s more people. [1796 points, 224 comments]
  5. Attention Twittering Redditors! Help the Iranian bloggers: change your twitter settings so that your location is TEHRAN and your time zone is GMT +3.30. Security forces hunting for bloggers using location and timezone searches. If we are all ‘Iranians’ it’s much harder to find them. [1764 points, 477 comments]

How do Reddit submitted stories differ from other social bookmarking websites? Is it true what redditors claim of having better quality submissions? Let us know what you think.

Comments and Reactions

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

    Nice one Fadi. I think Reddit's focus on controversy is it's most unique feature. Even the voting categories (hot, top, new, controversy) have a place for controversial topics based on their voting up/down pattern.

    I am also noticing a good percentage of popular reddit submissions, being about Reddit itself!

    Keep up the great work :)

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

    Great post Fadi…

    I must congratulate you on the effort you are putting into understanding the Reddit environment and communities. I, for one, tried using Reddit for a while and would have given up completely if it weren't part of my job requirements. I find Reddit a bit frustrating as opposed to other social media channels such as Stumble Upon, Mixx and even Sphinn. It is too high maintenance for my taste! Feels like an elitist club which you need a lot of authority and power in order to be a true member of!

    The work you've done here will probably make it easier for people such as myself and new comers.

    Thank you :)

  • http://www.peachygreen.com/ Stephanie

    I love it when my posts get a nasty dialogue going – but I'm not a power Reddit-user, so may not bring big traffic, no matter how catchy the title. ;-)

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

    Stepahanie, you never know. That is the beauty or Reddit, as much as challenging it is, as much as it is rewarding when it suddenly *works* out :)

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

    Amer, as I said in the post, it is how the system is built – focusing on dialogue. One can notice it first hand if you compare it to Digg. Comments are much more prominent and have more value over Reddit than over Digg.

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

    Thank you Beiruta, Reddit sure needs time and patience, but it is a cool place once you get use to it. It gets addictive when you get attached to your karma points, you would want to check it out every while to check out if people like your last submissions or not :P

  • http://www.magicksandwich.org kathcom

    I agree more with your earlier article.
    http://blog.thoughtpick.com/2009/06/dont-ever-l...

    I wasn't sure if you were seriously saying Reddit is a better operation based on the titles you were showing. Reddit reminds you it likes deceptive titles when you post something. How can it be an elite site when it asks for tabloid-type headlines? It appeals to our baser natures as much as Digg does. Digg has turned off the feature that allowed Diggers to shout at each other until they were hoarse. Who knows if it will thrive or die without that annoying but social component.

    I've found Reddit to be a confusing site. I understand that its members don't owe me any favors fro posting there. This does make it much better than Digg's previous incarnation. But I'm not so terrible I should have only 1 karma point. And I'm not sure how to become a friend or fan to people whose reddit contributions I love. Having a hard-to-use interface doesn't make it cool…does it?

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

    Hi kathcom, I don't think that both articles contradict each other :). Reddit is still a tough environment and I am not claiming that they have better submissions than other websites although it seems that they do filter things out more harshly.

    I don't see it as a tabloid-type titles, instead it offers a more descriptive ones where people can learn more about the content of the artilce before reading it.

    I also agree with you about the interface. It takes time to get used to it. It is built mainly around people's conversations rather than people's relationships. I can help you here, you can add friends by clicking on the name of the redditter you like, go to his page and click on 'add as a friend' link that appears to the right side of the page where the karma points appear :). Added friends appear in red.

    I have just added you :)

  • http://www.magicksandwich.org kathcom

    Thanks for the info and the friendship. I didn't think the articles contradicted each other, just that the tone of the first was more in line with how I feel when I visit Reddit.

    I do wish it would allow description so that the title wouldn't have to be so attention-grabbing on its own.

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