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.
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.
How many software engineers does it take to operate a site that serves over 1 billion pageviews a month? At Reddit, the answer is (hopefully) one, at least for now.
Yesterday Senior Software Engineer Mike “Raldi” Schiraldi resigned to take on his “dream job” at Google, leaving the total headcount of software engines at one. David King left last week to join Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian at Hipmunk.
After eclipsing Digg to take the top spot amongst social news sites, Reddit has seen little in the way of “love” from their owners, Conde Nast. Promises have been made to dramatically increase the size of the skeleton crew that keeps the site running, but is that really enough?
Two sites, Reddit and Digg, went into emergency mode today as Reddit had technical difficulties preventing users from submitting new content to the site.
reddit is in “emergency read-only mode” right now. you won’t be able to log in. we’re sorry, and are working frantically to fix the problem.
Other social news sites such as Digg experienced a drop in the quality of content as one of the primary sources for content, Reddit, went into “read-only mode” making it challenging for many top Digg users to find content. The front page of Digg has not yet experienced the fallout as most of the top images today were from yesterday’s Reddit front page, but tomorrow is expected to be a low-Digg-count-day with Redditors unable to supply Digg users with content to submit.
Many Redditors were seen outside today. Some made their monthly trip to the grocery store, barber shops, and liquor stores early, while others simply experienced external weather conditions for the first time in ages.