What is Reddit? At first glance, Reddit can seem intimidating to the uninitiated observer. Self-proclaimed as the “front page of the Internet,” Reddit is a massive and diverse community, and anyone who knows anything about the internet can tell you that that can be both a blessing and a curse.
Similar to a bustling city, there is a nice side of Reddit and a not so nice side. You can’t simply write off the entire website based on one trip into the wrong neighborhood. At least not without visiting the nicer parts first.
To put your mind at ease, we’re going to divulge a bit of knowledge on what Reddit is and how you can get started using it.
What Is Reddit?
Reddit is essentially a platform that relies on an online community to decide what is and isn’t newsworthy by allowing them to post their own links and information. The users of the site would then be responsible for voting on these posts, either up or down, to determine which information is the best.
The site is split up into different subject sections called subreddits. Navigating these subreddits in order to find the information that matters most to you is often responsible for the intimidation most have with Reddit. The amount of information is massive and can hit you pretty hard if you’re unfamiliar with the infrastructure.
Links with the most upvotes will gain more visibility and make it easier to find on the main Reddit page. Links with more downvotes may find themselves lost and buried, never again to see the light of day.
Registering An Account
- From the Reddit main page, look for the SIGN UP button located in the upper right-hand corner beside the LOG IN button.
- The following window will require the email address you wish to assign to your Reddit account. Enter the text into the box and click NEXT.
- The last window will have you choose a username and password. The username will be how others know you on Reddit and the password will be required to log into your account.
- Once all information has been filled out, complete the process and register your new Reddit account by clicking the SIGN UP button.
Reddit is the ideal environment to meet like-minded people socializing and obsessing over similar interests. Whether you’re a writer, a lover of adorable pets, or a major sports fan, you can find a subreddit full of discussions and topics related to the subject.
Type anything you might be interested in into the search bar at the top of the page to get started. Reddit has a few advanced options and filters available to you if you choose to use them.
You can then check out a subreddit by clicking on one of the options that pop-up related to your query.
If there isn’t a subreddit related to the subject you’re searching for, then you can always create your own.
However, I would practice caution when it comes to the running of your own subreddit. Being a subreddit moderator is very demanding work especially if your subreddit has become extremely popular. You’ll be forced to lay down the law by kicking out the baddies, removing spam from conversations, and monitoring everything going on within the subreddit.
Some folks enjoy the dedication to a community effort so if you happen to be one of them, then feel free to give it a try. First, I think it might be better to join a few already created subreddits to at least get the lay of the land when it comes to what to expect.
Subscribing To Subreddits
While not logged into Reddit, the front page will be filled with default subreddits that everyone sees. Once logged in after registering an account, you’re able to customize your Reddit feed with the subreddits that you want to follow. After subscribing to a subreddit you’ll see your feed populated with the newest posts from that subreddit.
You can choose to join a community or follow a user directly from the search results by clicking the appropriate button to the right of them. For those who prefer to check things out before subscribing, you can click on the page directly, peruse the topics enjoyed by the user or community, and decide to subscribe using the JOIN button found at the top or FOLLOW button in the right sidebar.
Creating Your Own Subreddit
Creating a subreddit is easy, running it is where the difficulty presents itself. Getting other people to visit it is also an uphill battle most of the time. It takes a lot of work to maintain a community so be sure you’re committed before proceeding.
Your account will also need to be at least 30 days old and hold a quantity of Karma that only the site moderators are privy to. More on Karma later.
- From the feed page, scroll until you see this image in the right sidebar.
- Fill out all of the information required in the following window.
- Click CREATE COMMUNITY to have the subreddit created.
There are particular guidelines Reddit requires you to follow when using their platform. A few of the things that are considered prohibited is using the platform for self-promotion, link spamming, and post spamming. Performing any of these things could land you a swift ban.
Following the guidelines and being respectful will go a long way on Reddit.
Upvotes, Downvotes, Posts, Comments, and Karma
Once you’ve subscribed to a subreddit, you can begin upvoting and downvoting posts and comments found there. The up and down arrows to the left of a post or comment indicate the up and down voting respectively.
The number indicates the popularity. A positive number means it has received more upvotes than down whereas a negative number displayed means the opposite.
The comment box should be just below the initial post. You can add your two cents to the discussion and click the COMMENT button to send it.
To create your own post in the subreddit will require you to click the CREATE POST button found in the right sidebar.
Active participation in different subreddits while practicing good reddiquette will earn you Karma. The total can be found just below your username at the top-right of the page.
Karma can affect how others view you on Reddit even though it has very little impact on how the site is used outside of the desire to run your own subreddit. Think of it more as Reddit “street cred”.
Additional Tips & Tricks
To combine a bunch of your favorite subreddits into one stream of posts, Reddit created a built-in system called multiredditing. You can combine any subreddits into a singular feed for maximum viewing but most combine subreddits of similar topics.
It’s preferred to access the multireddit option through the old Reddit front page. The new setup isn’t as user-friendly for this sort of thing.
- You can visit the old site by clicking your username in the top-right and selecting it from the drop-down menu.
- From here, you’ll need to click on the very edge of the left side of the screen.
- This will open up a side menu with the option to create your multireddit.
- Name your multireddit and hit Create to your multireddit feed.
- You can begin adding the subreddits you want featured in the feed from the right sidebar.
View Subreddits As Images Only
There are plenty of subreddits that consist of nothing but images. To bypass the need to click on every submission to view the images, you can add a ‘p’ to the URL. Stick a ‘p’ at the end of reddit in the URL like so
This will create a slideshow of all the posts within the subreddit.
Turn a subreddit post into a pseudo chat room by adding -stream in the URL when in the comments section.
Reddit Enhancement Suite
To get the best out of your Redditing experience, installing Reddit’s Enhancement Suite is the best way to go. Enjoy an endlessly scrollable homepage, easy username swapping (for multi-account users), and a user highlighting feature.
This only just scratches the surface. A lot of the features that you can enjoy on Reddit today are likely in part due to RES. One of which is the Night Mode option, which is particularly useful for reducing the strain on your eyes that white computer light contributes.