I've already re-purposed redditAll for a radical new way to read the reddit front page.
So if you'd like to keep up with me, follow me on twitter (@kn0thing). And if you're jonesin' for a blog to read, I'll be posting fairly regularly on breadpig (now my full-time startup, of sorts) and my personal blog.
Thanks for following me on this startup journey. It's hard to believe I started this back in 2005 when starting reddit. Below is a TED Talk I gave in 2009, thanks to reddit; this pretty much made my year.
Everything I've accomplished so far has probably in some way been because of you, reader -- be it reddit, breadpig, or my accomplishments with the railgun in Quake II. Thank you.
Friday, May 29, 2009
I've already re-purposed redditAll for a radical new way to read the reddit front page.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
You'll still be able to find this blog at reddit.blogspot.com, but there's a project I'll be announcing shortly that will takeover the domain redditAll.com.
Here's a sneakpeek. Stay tuned to blog.reddit for the announcement or follow me on Twitter if you're really curious.
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Yes, this has been sitting in my drafts folder for too long. Anyway, check out this slideshow to learn how to make iPhone apps that don't suck and become the next iPhone app millionaire we keep reading about.
Chris Dannen wrote it, who also happens to be the dude who prompted our own iPhone app (now without crashing bug!). Yep, this guy. We've been exchanging emails now and then -- consider all future good reddit ideas the work of Chris.
I, or rather, Pierre Francois, was invited to compete in last year's Business of Software conference. In fact, he won a Macbook Air that I'm enjoying to this day.
Well, Neil Davidson published my pitch for getting a speaking spot.
If you haven't signed up for Business of Software 09, what are you waiting for? If you're waiting for a compelling video highlighting what the con is all about, here it is:
There's been on ongoing open letter exchange between 37Signals and GetSatisfaction. GetSatisfaction allows anyone to create unofficial customer support communities (like UserVoice) that all both remind me of a much better implemented features.reddit (now defunct). 37Signals doesn't want to have one and feels it "misled our customers into thinking the Get Satisfaction site was an official place to get 37signals customer service and support."
At this point, Jason Fried is requesting that the GetSatisfaction team makes it much more obvious that this is not an official 37Signals site, he outlines a number of changes he'd like them to make.
But here's the dilemma: 37signals has long touted the strategy of saying no to feedback.
That's why you start with no. Every new feature request that comes to us — or from us — meets a no. We listen but don't act. The initial response is "not now." If a request for a feature keeps coming back, that's when we know it's time to take a deeper look. Then, and only then, do we start considering the feature for real.Granted, Jason isn't in this case a user of GetSatisfaction, but hopefully he'll find this as amusing as I do. I just hope he doesn't expect GS to do anything anytime soon. Heh.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Thanks to Erin for snapping these pictures from New Cabell Hall at the University of Virginia (where Steve and I did our 4 years). I'm pretty sure this is one stickering I had nothing to do with, so it was quite a nice surprise.
While it may not be the sharpest picture, I think there's no disputing what that is. It's a water fountain. And above it is a reddit sticker.
Friday, March 27, 2009
All Things Digital just published a piece on reddit's sponsored links.
In fact, we used the sponsored link with great success last week to point people to scifi.reddit for discussion on the final episode of BSG. There are some links we'd just like to put in front of as many redditors as possible (even though it's not actually 'sponsored' in this case) and this lets us denote that we're doing it.
The results have made Condé “cautiously optimistic,” says Stinchcomb. You can measure that two ways: Click-through rates for the ads are running at about five percent, which is several times more than the industry average. And readers haven’t revolted.
All in all, we're pretty happy with it and the reddit community seems to have picked it up nicely (and, as the writer points out, haven't gone 1776 on us).
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Erik (hueypriest) snapped this pic in Austin right after my panel. Anthony of HypeMachine had a panel at the exact same time, so I told him I'd wear his shirt in his honor (I wasn't the only one: see pic). Turns out he was wearing a breadpig shirt. Swine on!
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I was a last-minute edition to the latest edition of SEMJ. I got a chance to give my perspective on how to do well on social news sites like reddit.
Make good content. Don't be a jerk.
If you're still interested in reading it, they've provided me with a copy to distribute. Enjoy.
Saturday, March 07, 2009
What do you think? I've had some luck with shirt designs lately and thought I'd bring back this 'vintage' reddit shirt. Chris suggested we reprint this a few weeks ago and I think he was spot on. Fun fact: the very first and only one of its kind was actually the first reddit shirt I'd ever made back in 2005 (so the est. 2005 with a retro look scored triple irony points!) - it was from CafePress.
You'll be able to find it on our xkcd store in the coming weeks.
Friday, March 06, 2009
- Battered Suitcase in Lesotho
- Idealist.org Announces Social News Site for Nonprofits
- Social news sites tell nonprofits’ stories
- The tweets
- Craigslist foundation blog
- Nonprofit technology network
- Candy Sandwich
- Compassion in politics
- Mission Driven
Thursday, March 05, 2009
We announced a new reddit today, this is putting a pretty face on nonprofit.reddit.com called IdealistNews.
Both we and Idealist.org (our partner - see their announcement here) are quite excited to be bringing this to life. It started as a few tweets exchanged with Scott Stadum of Idealist and a few weeks later this new reddit is online.
Just a little while back, Beth Kanter lamented that there was no social news geared toward nonprofits and social change. We at reddit (and breadpig) totally agreed and hope this reddit can be the destination for the very best of this news.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
The 280north team plugged Pinch Media analytics into our iPhone app, iReddit and we've already encountered some interesting data.
Chiefly, at this moment the total time spent using the app is 3 years 68 days 14 hours 41 minutes 17 seconds. Never mind the fact that they have it pegged to the second, but this app has only been out for two weeks. I'd rather not imagine how much time users have spent on reddit.com during the 3+ years it's been around.
Instead, I'll be busy finishing up some work for a very cool pair of announcements Wednesday and Thursday (watch blog.reddit.com to see the news).
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Still no word on the whereabouts of the third cheer, but we're nonetheless quite happy to have been featured in a recent The Big Money article. Here's just a taste:
I've come to genuinely admire Reddit [...] having trolled around long enough now, I find Reddit, when used properly, to be a decent news source and a relatively intelligent window onto the hive mind. Psychologists for years have argued that the information content of news is less important than the context in which people receive it; Reddit moves at a pace at which you can watch cognition and content commingle in real time.And I'm thrilled The Cute List got a shoutout, too. Read the whole article to see just how reddit changed James Ledbetter's perspective on social media, which according to him, had "seemed like a shabby foreign country I'd rather not visit."
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
So far, we've been quite happy with the experiment. And it appears the Indie has been, too, as they even gave me a place in their Independent Minds blogging network. Here's the inaugural post:
All in all I think this is a great experiment. It attacks newspaper site problems like social interaction, ranking, linking, user interface, and user experience. I’ll be following this closely as time goes on and the social site builds links and volume.
posted by alexis [kn0thing] at 13:36
Aaron forwarded me this a while back and somehow it remained in my drafts folder until now.
My brother is on the quiz bowl team. One of the questions he was given at a Boston tournament was "This Conde Nast acquisition uses karma to ..." (that's when he buzzed).I must say, that's pretty cool. Thanks for considering us question-worthy, Quiz Bowl!
Saturday, February 21, 2009
In short, Quicken sent Mint a pretty lame "WTF is up with your user count?" email.
The story could be over, but then there was a bit of prodding into how a Mint determines a 'user.'
Aside from Mint’s remarkable growth rate, Intuit’s concerns focus on the startup’s definition of “users”. Mint’s reply states that the company considers anyone who has filled in an Email address, Zip code, and password to be a “user”, regardless of whether they’ve ever actually linked their bank account to their Mint user name. This figure obviously overstates the number of people who actually use Mint on a day-to-day basis, but it’s also a fairly standard way to define “users” for most web services. As an outside check, Comscore counts 416,000 monthly unique visitors worldwide, and growing rapidly (see chart below).This definition "raised some concerns" for TechCrunch.
Is this really standard practice for web services? (Really, I'm curious - lemme know).
In what world is a "user" someone who creates an account and never uses the site again? At the most basic semantic level, they're not even using the site.
Aaron, you've clearly got a successful startup and the established competition is obviously feeling threatened, so why not just omit those non-users from the user numbers you're reporting? Who is impressed by traffic that has visited a website, signed up, and never returned?
Friday, February 20, 2009
The infamous Pepsi PDF could have just been a marketing ruse, but it was nonetheless leaked on reddit and we found our alien as the source for a number of mainstream media outlets.
It made headlines in the Telegraph and MediaBistro. And given all the smiley-face-to-Pepsi-logo juxtaposition, combined with all the advertising jargon, it's easy to see why this would get people talking/laughing.
I'd always dreamed of the day we'd be in the New York Post... I CAN'T HIDE HOW MUCH I LOVE THOSE ALL CAPS HEADLINES.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
It's called ROFLDNA and it's the result of the last ROFLThing event in New York. Ask for just some opening remarks and you'll get me cheek-swabbing all your Internet celebrities.
In said opening remarks, I had designated the New York Stem Cell Foundation as the recipient of the auction proceeds, but something happened between then and now. Namely, Science Commons appeared on the front page of reddit and I had a few beers with their VP of Science. A few drinks can go a long way.
We've also formed some great plans for reddit to partner with them in the coming months. The community responded so well to the idea that we couldn't help but form this allegiance.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Not bad for the first workday since Apple approved it (on Valentine's Day). I take my metaphorical hat off to the 280North team, who did all the work to bring iReddit to life. Early reviews have been overwhelmingly positive and they've already got a revision in the Apple approval process to fix a few nagging bugs.
Of course, it didn't hurt that the sponsored link on reddit got so many upvotes it was even voted onto the front page. Guess folks really did want us to release an official iPhone app...
Monday, February 16, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
And reddit was there to celebrate it. See today's logo if you need any more convincing...
Now I'm off to a Darwin-themed pub crawl -- this is going to be more fun than carrying around dead finches on the HMS Beagle.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Part of the extended Wired family, Cult of Mac is joining in on some apple.reddit desktop sharing.
A desktop can really say a lot about a person. I hope mine isn't the only one with a reddit alien on the dock (go Adium, go!).
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
In a pre-emptive strike, the street artist Shepard Fairey filed a lawsuit on Monday against The Associated Press, asking a federal judge to declare that he is protected from copyright infringement claims in his use of a news photograph as the basis for a now ubiquitous campaign poster image of President Obama.I know the A.P. is looking for some innovative business models, but this is a joke.
The suit was filed in federal court in Manhattan after The Associated Press said it had determined that it owned the image, which Mr. Fairey used for posters and stickers distributed grass-roots style last year during the election campaign.
Shepard, I've got your back.
Who's going to be next to sue for this inspiring artwork?
Sunday, February 08, 2009
Do I understand how this works? Not really, but it makes a ton of reddit aliens. An infinite army of them, in fact...
Friday, February 06, 2009
N'Gai Croal, who so graciously took some great photos of the breadpig band during our SpikeTV shoot, recently interviewed me for a piece, All the President's Tweets, about how Obama ought to bring technology to the White House.
If there is a chance to really change WhiteHouse.gov, elder statesman Jeff Jarvis and I daydreamed about how technology could help the Obama administration better work for us, since we are after all, its boss.
Fortunately, every indication we've gotten from the Obama team since they went online for his campaign is that they're absolutely capable and willing to get this kind of technological change done. The task they're facing, and all the obstacles in their way, are largely the result of legacy. It's a shame it has to be backwards-compatible. It's a pity we didn't have all this technology (or some incredible foresight) when the British burnt down the White House, as we could have rebuilt it with this kind of transparency in mind.
[...] it's a sentiment echoed even more concretely by Ohanian. "Lots of data comes out of government; we don't all want to have to slog through it, but computers can," he says. "So if they can make that data available in accessible formats—data that belongs to us as taxpaying citizens—that could be great." He cites "Web 2.0 mashups," like Google Maps with housing values or crime statistics overlaid on them, as an example of the kinds of creative ways that government-assembled data could be reused if provided in XML (extensible markup language) formats, which define the content of a document separately from its formatting precisely so that it can be repurposed in other applications.
And if anyone from the White House is reading this, that means no more PDFs, whose contents aren't easily searched or extracted for further use. Says Ohanian: "PDFs are the bane of my existence—they aren't much more of a favor than having a printed document."
The kind that present technology facilitates with ease.
As for Ohanian, what he hopes to see after a four- or eight-year Obama presidency is for Whitehouse.gov to become a useful tool. "I've never had a reason to go to Whitehouse.gov before. So if it becomes a usable tool for citizens, that will be an accomplishment, because it means that the tech has been put to good use." That's a lot to place on a single URL. Let's hope that Obama & Co. are up to the task.It's true, the closest I'd ever gotten to WhiteHouse.gov was when I'd trick friends into visiting WhiteHouse.com (formerly a NSFW site). I look forward to the day when the .gov is a regular destination.
Sunday, February 01, 2009
Olympic great Michael Phelps has acknowledged "regrettable" behavior and "bad judgment" after a photo in a British newspaper showed him smoking marijuana.The only regrettable part of this story is that a photo turned up. If it's 'roids, it should make headlines. If it's weed, we should admire the fact that he was able to keep up that training regiment with all those Cheetos in his gut.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Oh yes, ROFLThing: New York was fantastic. I'll have a proper recap in the days to come -- with my keynote presentation. ROFLgoers have asked for the slides, though I'm not sure it'll be the same without voiceover (cue the video link).
I can't thank the ROFLCon masters enough for inviting me to co-host and get the chance to unleash my latest breadpig project, ROFLDNA (more on that to come, too).
New York Times writer (and fellow UVA grad), Jenna Wortham, rocked the conference for the Bits Blog:
Also in attendance were several members of the geek elite, including Jay Maynard, better known by his nickname Tron Guy for a spandex bodysuit rigged with blue lights to resemble the main character from the 1982 Disney movie “Tron”; Rex Sorgatz, a well-known blogger; and Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of social bookmarking news site Reddit.Being mentioned in the same sentence as Jay Maynard is enough to make someone feel like a geek elite -- Jenna went and put icing on that florescent TRONcake.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
A little while ago, I had a nice phone interview with the National Journal about the role of technology within the Obama White House. My synthesized thoughts follow those of Lawrence Lessig, a humbling position indeed.
Alexis Ohanian is one of the founders of the popular site Reddit.com, which launched in 2005 and is used by thousands to rank which news stories appear on the site's home page. Based on what he's seen with Reddit, he said, most Americans won't bother going to a site to rank projects to fund, and of those people who do visit, most won't contribute a vote. What will remain, he hopes, are people who consider themselves informed enough to cast a vote. For his part, Ohanian takes transparency a step further, dreaming of a day when the Internal Revenue Service lets Americans log in to see how their individual tax dollars are being spent and then lets them redirect their money.Reading it this way, I felt compelled to clarify what appears to be a rather bleak forecast for participation.
Based on what he's seen with Reddit, he said, most Americans won't bother going to a site to rank projects to fund, and of those people who do visit, most won't contribute a vote.My belief that most Americans wouldn't bother going is a combination of apathy (something I believe these technologies would ameliorate) and that the majority of reddit traffic is not logged in -- and thus non-voting.
That said, the motivations for visiting reddit.com and this policy site are quite different. The majority of redditors just want to be informed or entertained and needn't affect the rankings. Whereas I'd envision a significant portion of traffic to this site would be visitors arriving to make an impact. And you can be sure a number will be driven by email blasts from interest groups.
Ultimately, the more transparency that can be brought to the process, the better. Lessig is right to point out that replacing the decision-making process with ill-informed citizens would have a negative impact. But this technology can be just the thing to make citizens better informed about their government. If we can get up to the minute stock quotes and news about Apple, we ought to demand (and get) the same from our representatives.
After all, we're paying for them -- let's get our money's worth.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
LATimes blogger, Mark Milian, emailed in the run up to President Obama's (haven't gotten tired of saying that yet) inauguration. He was curious to know what kind of traffic surge we expected and if there was anything we were doing to prepare. While we take great pride in our 'reddit is down' messages, we didn't expect to need them -- thankfully, I didn't eat my words:
And Reddit is equally unworried.Yes, I did leak it. And I'm not ashamed of it. But I'm even happier we didn't need to use it.
"Actually, we're expecting a bigger traffic spike on Wednesday as people come back to their computers loaded with stories to share from the day before," Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian said in an e-mail. "Granted, there will be plenty of people watching the inauguration with a computer on their lap, but it won't be a surge significant enough to affect us."
But Reddit has thrown together a new "site is down" image (pictured at left) in case any problems arise.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Steve McKee wrote a piece for BusinessWeek explaining Why Social Media Is Worth Small Business Owners' Time. Although I'm not entirely convinced social media is really worth small business owners' time, I enjoyed the zen-like opening to his argument:
The first thing I want to encourage you to do is relax. Take a deep breath and release that tightness in your chest. This column isn't about making you feel stupid for not knowing what Reddit.com is, or chastising you for not having three extra hours a day to spend tweeting and blogging. I simply want to encourage you to get started. (For background on social media, check out this story.)But the implication that not knowing what reddit.com is grounds for making someone feel stupid is a nice touch. Evidently, the alien is worth knowing about. Fear not, reddit-virgins, we'll welcome you with open arms -- probably. And if you do find yourself at odds with various communities, you can always just create your own reddit.
Steve's tone is much gentler than the approach one redditor took when leaving a note on the car of a digg fan. Thanks for that, Steve. Although you could still be the person responsible for said note...
Friday, January 09, 2009
If this ad doesn't resonate with you, that's OK.
If you can't stand being on the outside of an inside joke, read this -- but be warned, once you go reddit...
... still trying to come up with a rhyme for that.
Thursday, January 08, 2009
cnet's don reisinger says reddit "leads the pack" - is it the alpha dog of your social network portfolio, too?
Don Reisinger of cnet offers some tips for downsizing your network portfolio. We only need to be subscribed to so many dot-coms with silly names, right?
Well not only does he nail the difference between social bookmarking (e.g., delicious) and news aggregation, he also happens to think reddit is "the keeper."
Trying to find the ideal news aggregator on the Web can be difficult. Depending on your definition, there's conceivably hundreds of services that package the best stories into one page. But it's the "social" news aggregation services, like Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon that lead the pack. And although Digg is the most popular service in that grouping, I'm a firm believer that Reddit deserves to stay in your portfolio as your chosen news aggregation service.Needless to say, team reddit is pretty pleased with the review. The quote our community manager, Erik: Smaller, odd, rabies-free, and pack leader. reddit = Cesar Millan!
Normally, I would pick the social site that offers the largest and most engaged community. But when it comes to news aggregation sites, Digg simply doesn't cut it. Sure, it's the biggest and arguably the most important to content sites, but that alone doesn't make it the best. Instead, I find Reddit's site design, while simple and ugly to some, incredibly useful and designed to help users find the best stories as quickly as possible without gaudy extras. But the most important differentiating factor working to Reddit's advantage is its community. It might be smaller than Digg's, but generally, the comments on each story are more edifying and lack the invective that has become a staple for Kevin Rose's brainchild.
Reddit may not be the biggest, its site design may be odd, and its community not as rabid, but in terms of providing interesting stories on a slew of topics without as much "gaming," it leads the pack and deserves to be in your social network portfolio.
Dreams really do come true. I gave my first presentation entirely with LOLcat photos along with three other guys who probably spend too much time on the Internet. The conference was the Magazine Publisher's Association's 4th Digital Conference held in New York last February and I haven't had a PowerPoint experience quite like it since. The MPA audience was quite receptive to the silly cat photos with pidgin English captions.
Not only did they laugh, they apparently took away quite a bit, and even produced this recap that I hadn't noticed until just now. Bonus points for including my B-more Sun shoutout.
Alexis Ohanian described reddit as a site that allows users to rate what stories are worth keeping around and what stories should be sent to the lower parts of the list. Ohanian stressed that online, “great, fresh content is king.” It’s a world where a story from the Baltimore Sun could be the more important story to read than the one in The New York Times.
Readers are fickle,” he said, which can be a bad thing since users are only one click away from leaving a site. But it can also be a good thing if the site is providing good, fresh content—people won’t leave right away and a connection could be born. “Once it gets online, brand is less important. It’s still important but content is king.”
Ohanian encouraged magazine publishers to build up their online content in order to take advantage of those readers who are fanatics about the publication. They can read the print edition every day for the month and net the publisher nothing, or they can visit the site every day and net the publisher some gain.
He also encouraged publishers to get involved with user-generated content. “They’ll do a lot of work for you and for free,” he said. One example he used was an editor posting a question and readers posting their thoughts alongside other content. “It feeds itself for relatively little work,” he noted. Letting that kind of conversation occur will help build a loyal community.
Sunday, January 04, 2009
Mentally Incontinent is a book by Joe Peacock and the Internet. He wrote it, they edited it. Think of it as a collection of those funny stories you read about on the Internet, only they all happened to one guy (Joe). Better yet, imagine Joe as that friend you have (or wish you had) who always has those hilarious stories he tells you over a few beers. This book reads just like that beer-fueled storytelling.
And here's the best part: he's actually a nice guy. It's like Tucker Max without all the douchecockery.
So help Joe write more books and buy a copy of Mentally Incontinent for someone you love or even just like (or yourself, if you don't like yourself, this book might change that).
Either because the economy sucks or because he's a classy guy, Joe made the book available for your reading pleasure on Google. Take a look-see.
Friday, January 02, 2009
Fun fact: Blogger.com and all blogspot blogs are blocked in Vietnam. While this is mildly inconveniencing for the traveler, for Vietnamese, this kind of censorship must be quite frustrating -- not just because they can't read my blog. Combine Vietnam's rapid development with the growing global movement for Internet freedom and I'm certain the government will find this censorship harder and harder to maintain. And that's a great thing.
Anyway, here's a recap of reddit news from the last couple of weeks:
We continued our well-publicized love affair with Treehuger, which published its top 25 reddited stories of 2008.
There were some epic Zune pun threads on reddit thanks to an epic Zune failure. The Guardian reported on the pun-tastic behavior, as did CrunchNotes.
The LATimes found the modern hobo code traveling up the reddit front page.
And Gizmodo reported on the greatness of the Yoshimoto Cube, which bubbled up on science.reddit.