Every year (for a whopping 3 years running!) we highlight who we believe is the top social media site of the year. It’s not a popularity contest. It’s not based on (much) empirical data. There’s no voting. The team sits down and argues for an hour on Skype and I write up the piece.
Early signs of the mass exodus from GoDaddy are already starting to show up and the unofficial Leave GoDaddy Day is still later this week. First, they supported SOPA, the evil bill that would weaken the internet as we know it today. Then, due to a mass uprising by prominent GoDaddy users and attacks coming from prominent social media sites like Reddit, they dropped their support of SOPA and did what they could on Twitter to get the word out.
Everything’s better now, right?
In the past, emergency outages at Reddit have been caused by an overload of comments. When astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson hit Reddit yesterday with “I am Neil deGrasse Tyson — AMA“, the community responded. During the subsequent slow period on Reddit early this morning, the site went into emergency maintenance mode for over an hour. Coincidence?
This should actually be a long, comprehensive piece detailing the recent meteoric rise, subsequent expansion of power, and reluctant emergence of the site into the same power category as Twitter and even (gulp!) Facebook. The numbers support it. The content is excellent (even though old-school users claim that it’s in decline). Mainstream media and average netizens are starting to take notice.
For the last several days, I’ve been studying Reddit. I’ve been visiting the site daily for two years now but it was only recently that I actually started studying the site. What makes it tick? Why is it so successful in an arena that has eaten up so many for so long? Why does it continue to get stronger while others get weaker?
Whether they want to admit it or not, Reddit was once the ultimate “hipster” site. No, it wasn’t/isn’t populated by people who wearing horn-rim glasses and skinny jeans carrying around graphic novels in their hemp knapsacks. It was hipster because it was only cool to those lucky few who knew about it. The site normally broke EVERYTHING first to the point that when people saw something for the first time on Twitter or Facebook, Redditors could say, “Oh, I saw that on Reddit last week.”
Then, Digg V4 happened. Since then, the traffic has gone up tremendously.
Today is my 2nd Reddit birthday. I should be happy, but I’m not. There’s something that has been bugging me for a while and realizing that I’ve been here for 2 years is a reminder that it probably won’t be resolved anytime soon.
There is a difference between Reddit and other social news sites. While they have never really staked a claim of being the biggest, baddest, or most powerful, they have demonstrated it time and time again, particularly in the arena of financial donations.
This graphic by WePay takes a look at some of the most significant random acts of moneybombing that have influenced people and charities across the world.