Karma – The “currency” of Reddit. If your posts are good you get it, if they’re not, you lose it
Upvotes – How people approve of content on Reddit
Downvotes – How people disapprove of content
SubReddits – Where the content comes from, sections devoted to certain material. Can range from politics, to gaming, to science and technology.
Lurker – Someone who browses Reddit without posting any content.
Meme – A picture with words on it. That’s about all it contributes to the world.
The internet is a fantastic place. It gives users the power to connect with people around the world, and contains what is essentially the entirety of the world’s knowledge. Good or bad the internet is something that most people couldn’t live without.
Though powerful, most people seem to not utilize the wonder of the internet in their everyday lives. Yes, Twitter and Facebook are fun to use, and you can get a lot of information, most of it useless, but some of it is actually high quality information.
Sometimes you get the hoaxes like the death of Bill Nye, and most of the time you get to hear about someone’s dinner or pictures of their cat. Everything is thrown at you with little regard for what you find interesting or not. That’s where Reddit comes in.
At first glance Reddit seems like a confusing mess of a website. The page consists of nothing but links. The real magic happens after you create yourself an account and begin to tailor your experience to what you like.
The magic of Reddit is in how it’s built. All the content is submitted and curated by the users. By upvoting and downvoting content only the best in a certain subreddit rises to the top. As you browse, and start subscribing and unsubscribing from the various subreddits your experience is tailored to what you want to read about and learn.
There is a subreddit for almost everyone and every hobby. If you can’t seem to find one you like, then make it, and start sharing your content. It’ll be mostly with yourself at first, but if you can manage to get the word out with friends, and if people like what you do you’ll get more subscribers and may even see your little hobby grow into the thriving environment for people who share your tastes.
Reddit isn’t just a little thing that you may have missed out on. So many different people frequent this website that is has made waves in the world.
Reddit lead the SOPA protests last year and many on the site planned further action against the legislation that many thought would damage the freedom of the internet.
By bringing together so many people on one site sharing content and weeding out the best of the best and sharing it with the world Reddit has a powerful voice on the internet.
With all this talk about how wonderful Reddit is, it’s important to take a look at what can happen when you give anonymous people free reign over information and what gets seen and what doesn’t.
Some of the subreddits are devoted to less than savory topics. Recently one popular Redditor’s information was released on the internet by the website Gawker. This man was a moderator for subreddits that weren’t well received by people outside Reddit’s influence. It’s hard to say if what he was doing was truly wrong or not, but he has since suffered for what he shared with the community.
Reddit is something special. A place where people come from all over the internet to share what they love with others. People can talk to each other, and the best conversations always rise above the rest thanks to community moderation.
It’s been said that with great power comes great responsibility. The users of Reddit realize this simple saying taken from the pages of comics and use it to share the most important information with the world. Important infomation, and sometimes pictures of cute cats.
Cameron Simek is the Opinions editor for the UVU Review at Utah Valley University. He can be reached at [email protected], and on twitter @Skabomb. www.uvureview.com