Thursday, February 26, 2009

not one, but two cheers for reddit on slate's the big money

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 perspective on social media, which according to him, had "seemed like a shabby foreign country I'd rather not visit."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

reddit & the indie: the internet approves

I somehow forgot to post this entry from Metaprinter about our announcement of a partnership with The Independent:

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.

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:

oldie but a goodie: reddit the quiz bowl answer

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 on the definition of a user - techcrunch wtf moment

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

reddit, leaking pepsi

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

rofldna - a breadpig project to benefit science commons & protect the future of the internet

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

iReddit launches, now #1 on paid news apps

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

twitter proves itself useful

This made me laugh. I think I may have found a use for twitter after all.

julia allison and the comic book guy might have a future together

Julia has declared a fondness for geeks in the past, but she's currently excited about the new reddit iPhone app (iReddit) -- or at least the commercial.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

happy 200th birthday, chuck

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

desktop sharing, c'mon everyone is doing it

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

lame: the associated press thinks it owns shepard fairey's obama hope image

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.

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.
I know the A.P. is looking for some innovative business models, but this is a joke.

Shepard, I've got your back.

Who's going to be next to sue for this inspiring artwork?

Sunday, February 08, 2009

tom robinson and his infinite army of reddit aliens

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

bringing change - technological, that is - to the white house

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, 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.

[...] 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."

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.

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 to become a useful tool. "I've never had a reason to go to 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 was when I'd trick friends into visiting (formerly a NSFW site). I look forward to the day when the .gov is a regular destination.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

breaking: 23-year-old smokes pot

original photo: MARTIN BUREAU/Getty Images
ESPN reports Phelps has apologized.
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.