Reddit doesn’t have a cash problem. They had $20 million in the bank when they were given partial independence by Conde Nast two years ago and unless they’re buying solid gold servers and platinum-plated Macs to run the site, they probably have enough to keep going without a hitch for another decade. When Techcrunch reported rumors that the social news giant was looking for investors against a $400 million valuation, many of us wandered why they would risk losing their status as one of the most community-driven websites on the planet by playing into the hands of profit-driven venture capitalists.
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.
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.