Programming ≈ Fun

Written by Krešimir Bojčić

Why Reddit Is Not Worth It?

This article will sum up my experiences with reddit and why I think it is not worth it to bother with. It all started this summer. Somebody has putted me on a HN and I went front page.

7k visitors was more that my tender brain could comprehend :)
I didn’t know it right away but in hindsight that put a “link-aggregate” bug in my brain. I am a long time occasional reddit reader. I know you are not exactly supposed to put you own stuff up there, but hey it’s not like it is really spamming. There is down vote button on the article so if it’s a dumb one it will get buried in 5 minutes. No harm done. Right?

It’s easy to say ‘don’t put your own stuff’. BUT when you have zero readers (like me) it’s easier said than done.

Every vote counts the same

I think Twitter is doing much better job at spreading the word. If you have more influence your opinion counts more. When some influencer retweets your blog post you get some quality people visiting the blog and giving great feedback. On reddit you have this nasty anonymity that is licence to be a jackass and thousands of people looking for a (basically) cheap trill. It’s like entering a public square and proclaiming your ideas while being ridiculed.

Topic selection

Because every vote counts the same you don’t get best ideas on the front. You get the ideas that annoy majority the least. Therefore if you for example bash Lisp (like I did once) you’ll be rather well received. That of course doesn’t mean that you are right but if you don’t read between the lines and notice comments from some really smart people there, you’ll walk away thinking that Lisp is bash-worthy-material. That’s how I got my prime time and some other better ideas probably didn’t.

Addiction

The fact is you will get this huge adrenalin rush when you hit the frontpage. I had couple of pretty well received posts that spent couple of days on programming subbreddit frontpage. That means 5k-7k of visits. That combined with gaug.es air view forced me to look at the screen mesmerized.

In the meantime I’ve unsubscribed from gaug.es in order to get anything done but boy was that a rush :)

Trolling

From all the link aggregates, reddit crowd is the toughest one. I have this post where I distiled something worth two years of “the trenches” about quality not being most important thing. (Tangential remark: As they say if you want to date supermodel you have to mingle with supermodels, working on your abs is worth ZERO if actually you don’t meet any supermodels. Great post about creating opportunities here)

Beside being massively down voted the only comment I got was “You are a moran”.
Good thing I get to moderate my comments so I’ve deleted it. HEY, the spelling was wrong! What else could I do? Later on post had quite a good run on the DZone, and I got some constructive feedback on it.

Conclusion

I am giving up on reddit. I’ve noticed some really senior guys being bashed “as really novice” for exposing their ideas. When taking in account some stuff I’ve mentioned above that is actually expected result. Reddit reminds me of cold calling. I am not getting the interaction I am looking for.

I need gentle environment that will enable me to grow and not the unforgiving you-better-be-grandiose-or-don’t-show-up kind of community. So I say farewell…