January 7th, 2016

Reddit 101

Earlier this week, I visited with KATV about Reddit, what it is, how to use and whether your kids should use it.

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Key Things To Know About Reddit

  1. It is an online community forum: anyone can post anything.
  2. Before you post, know your Reddiquette! The site is against censorship, but there are rules the community expects you to follow.
  3. Use sub-Reddits to narrow down the community to topics relevant to you.
  4. You can learn a lot! Visit the AMA sub-Reddit and you won’t be disappointed.

Reddit is an online community where it is easy to find the latest internet trends and sentiment about current events. It is super simple and much like news feeds on Facebook and Twitter, the most recent or most popular posts are at the top of the page. Anyone can post text and/or links with information, then anyone else can comment on that post, vote it “up” or vote it “down.” The most “up-voted” content rises to the top of the page.

Reddit is on the cutting edge in terms of current events, humor and the obscure. Great information bubbles to the top of the Reddit feed, so if you ever feel like you need to quickly get “in-the-know” about something, Reddit is a great place to start. However, Reddit prides itself on being anti-censorship, so it is important to remember that almost anything goes when it comes content. You should definitely watch out for content labeled “NSFW,” which translates to “not safe for work” and means that there is nudity, horrible injury or some other image you wouldn’t want just anyone to see accidentally. Especially children!

There are “reddiquette” rules for engaging on the site, and the community self-polices content for the most part.  The community will quickly moderate users who are being too self-promotional or are full of venom and hate.

Because so many topics are discussed on Reddit, there are forums called “sub-Reddits” that are dedicated to specific topics and themes.

There is a sub-Reddit for Little Rock. There are also sub-Reddits for Arkansas, Fayetteville, Razorbacks, UCA, among others. These are all good places for conversations about local current events, ask questions about the area and find connections.

Before you recommend a sub-Reddit or share content that you have found there, be sure to take read the links thoroughly so you don’t accidentally send someone an “NSFW” post accidentally. And even though there are sub-Reddits for kids specifically, you will want to make sure your kids understand that they should not click around outside the designated kid-safe areas!

One of the coolest sub-Reddits is the “Ask Me Anything,” or “AMA” as it is known within the community. These are scheduled “chats” where experts in any subject invite Reddit users to ask them anything. Here you can request an AMA or submit an AMA. Almost 10 million people are subscribed to the AMA sub-Reddit. An expert could be a well-known media personality, like Barack Obama, Patrick Stewart, Elon Must, Bill Gates – all of whom have done an AMA. Or it could be NASA Mars scientists. Or the Big Bird puppeteer. And World War II veterans. These are truly fascinating and can pull you into the rabbit holes of the internet! Think of anything you want to know about from someone who has done it, and you can probably find them on Reddit.

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