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Reddit: The Front Page of the Internet

January 14, 2018 Uncategorized 0

 

Hello EMERAC followers. I am finally back from a long hiatus! As I mentioned in my last post, I have many exciting topics in the works. However I wanted to start the year with a mini post about a resource I find immensely fascinating, and I think you will too: Reddit! Reddit subtitles itself as the front page of the internet; it an endless, limitless forum of any and all topics under the sun. It is free to use, inclusive, and has proven to contain something to appeal to anyone and everyone. Reddit contains current events, humor, ideas, answers to any question, experiences, observations, polling, recommendations, reviews, and so much more. If you are unfamiliar with Reddit you should take a look at this 5 minute YouTube video which breaks down exactly what Reddit is and how it works, because it is unlike anything else online.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlI022aUWQQ&feature=youtu.be

The internet has impacted the way information in shared and spread; so much so that many of us can hardly remember how we, as a society, learned before its existence. While the impact of the internet can be described as no less than colossal, Reddit takes a unique approach to exploring its vast and growing expanses.

Users of Reddit can customize their experience to be completely their own. Do you like pictures of turtles and enjoy reading about alien abductions? You can follow the Turtle Love and Abduction subreddits. Do you also love to make and eat pie? There is a subreddit for that as well! Need to vent, or questioning if anyone else shares your thoughts or feelings? You can connect with others like you through Reddit!

Reddit is not just cute memes and stories; it is a news source, a place to share experiences, publish your narratives (both true and fictional), it can be a support group, a place for experts on every topic to answer questions and share their expertise, and a place to explore theories. It is unbelievable the immeasurable limitlessness of Reddit, not to mention; it continues to grow.

Reddit allows users to not only share news and information, but then broadens the user’s frame of reference by allowing for the input, opinions, and perspectives of all other users. Oftentimes a Reddit thread becomes less about the original post, and more about the input of users commenting on it. With the ability to upvote or downvote a thread or comment, users can perpetuate the conversations they most enjoy, or care to further examine.

I informally polled a large group of librarians and information professionals and their interest in Reddit was overwhelmingly positive. Everyone who responded to my poll raved about Reddit, and their favorite subreddits. While there were some warnings, the general consensus was that Reddit is an invaluable resource for information professionals. While most of the subreddits that were listed were having to do with users’ personal interests, one librarian said that she used Reddit as a means of sourcing professional advice from other librarian users. Some respondents had even published articles on Reddit.

Reddit can be considered a phenomenal resource for anyone, as mentioned by some in my poll, however it is not without its imperfections. Reddit does not have the most intuitive interface. While many popular topics are listed to link to those subreddits, the more obscure or peculiar subreddits can be difficult for new users to find. It takes a bit of time and experience to become proficient in navigating Reddit. There are also some dark corners of Reddit that users could accidentally happen upon. There can be subreddits that could contain information that offends certain users. Because anyone can use Reddit, there are subreddits where there is discussion of illegal activity. Additionally, for this reason, there is the potential for misinformation. With anyone capable of posting, in a primarily unmonitored forum, rumors, lies, distortions, and mistakes could be published and upvoted, resulting in the spread of inaccurate information. As a new user to Reddit it is important to keep these things in mind when following down a potentially endless rabbit hole.

Another fault is in Reddit’s voting system. Upvotes and downvotes are there with the idea that users can move the best responses up, and the responses that do not generate more discussion down. However, often times users use the downvoting option when they disagree with another user. This isn’t the intention of the voting system, however it cannot be monitored and so this is how the system has evolved.

All in all, in spite of some of its imperfections, Reddit is a outstanding resource for anyone to utilize in exploring any topic under the sun. If you don’t already use Reddit, I strongly recommend you take some time to build your own unique Reddit feed. Once you’ve created your account, take your time and explore. There are subreddits that can be relevant to all, and some so distinctive and specific that you’ll wonder who could possibly follow. You can also create your own subreddit! Build your feed and make it your own. You may be surprised how much there is to learn, and how much you want to share.

If you already have a Reddit I’d love to hear your thoughts? Have your experiences been positive? What are some of your favorite subreddits?

Find me on Reddit: Dtheres715

 

Additional Resources about Reddit:

https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/150573/

http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2576943

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/08/opinion/why-we-shut-down-reddits-ask-me-anything-forum.html

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