So, That Latest Reddit Thing

The regularly excellent ReplyAll podcast has a good roundup of the current drama over at Reddit. Useful if you don’t know what a Reddit is. Equally useful if you do know what a Reddit is but tend to avoid it because of its Redditness.

If you want to read more, here’s a collection of the least confusing articles about Reddit.

TL;DR: Reddit is a valuable online property because it can direct vast amounts of traffic. This value is based on the work of unpaid Redditors who act as taste makers. A surprisingly large number of these taste makers also happen to be quite awful people. Whether they’re genuinely awful or just being ironically awful is immaterial. What is at issue is that for Reddit to monetise it’s traffic-directing ability and appeal to wary advertisers it has to clean up the nastiness that frequently spills onto its front page. (Of course, removing all the illegal and distasteful material up there would be ideal but hey, baby steps.) Any attempt to do this is met with user and moderator revolts and outrage. In order to sort this out Reddit would need to pay for some professional fumigation and ongoing community management. Thus far it has shown little inclination to do so.

The Fans Know Best

The Fans Know Best:

“In other words, in their efforts to set up brand communities, companies are missing out on a marketing tool with huge potential, particularly in this weak economy. At a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing programs, a well-designed brand community can be used to conduct market research with very quick turn-around; generate and test ideas for product innovations; deliver prompt and high-quality service to customers with a problem; strengthen the attachments that existing customers feel toward the brand; and increase good publicity through word-of-mouth.”