Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Website of the Day: Reddit

I've begun to really start looking at all of the features of the websites I use regularly and make an effort to use them more efficiently. I've started with perhaps the least original website you can imagine. Many of you probably use this site every day: Reddit.

To everyone who doesn't use Reddit, it's like Digg only not full of morons. Moreover, it has some really great subreddits that allow you to get to the link you want. If I'm not looking for interesting stuff on Reddit, I'm wasting time on /r/pics or /r/wtf.

But to use Reddit "efficiently," you first have to weed out a lot of crap. There are tons of links I'm just not interested in most of the time. Reddit separates submitted links into "subreddits," or categories. If you sign in and go to the subreddits page, you can see the subreddits you're subscribed to on the right, and a list of available subreddits on the left. Also note that there are thousands of subreddits, not just that one page! Unsubscribe from all subreddits you don't read regularly. I even unsubscribed from the "" subreddit to avoid the general time-wasting detritus that can suck you under. Only subscribe to the subreddits you're really interested in. If you want to see the stuff from the subreddits you unsubscribed from, you can go to them manually and read them.

So, I'm left with just a few subreddits on my main page. I really want to see stuff from these subreddits, and my reddit page is now full of links I really want. Nearly 100% of the links there I want to click on. This is good. No time wasted, no scanning an entire page for a single good link.

Next, vote! Vote up good stuff. Vote down bad stuff. Don't vote on stuff you haven't clicked on (unless it's really obvious it's bullshit), and don't vote on stuff you don't care either way about. Voting is important, especially on the smaller subreddits. On the main subreddits, you can feel like voting on a story that already has 2,000 votes won't do any good one way or the other. That's partially right, but you have a lot more influence on the subreddits not subject to the whim of a million trolls. So vote already!

Finally, comment. It's not hard. On the smaller subreddits, people will read those comments. Again, on the bigger subreddits, your voice may be drowned out, but that's just not the case on the smaller subreddits. Refrain from trying to make witty comments on everything. Unless it really is funny, no one cares. This is not 4chan, your memes are not funny here. Comment on what you thought of the article. It doesn't take long, and it can spark some really good discussion.

There you have it. It's 10 minutes of work to get set up, and a few minutes a day of reading good stuff, voting and commenting. You really have no excuse!

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