Reddit has been continually rising in popularity since first emerging on the scene back in 2006. Today, it is one of the most popular social news sites of its kind, proving to be a great alternative for those who have grown tired of competitors such as Digg and StumbleUpon. Reddit often calls itself the front page of the internet to play on its growing reputation as a digital newspaper of sorts. And just like newspapers have categories and sections, this site has something similar known as subreddits, a feature that can come in handy for the savvy social marketer.
A subreddit is essentially a category or subcategory that has a community of reddit users built around a specific topic or area of interest. These categories are finely targeted and can be set to either public or private by the creator. Examples of popular subreddits, as chosen by the user community include:
- World News
These examples represent broad general interests, of course, but the subcategories on reddit go much much deeper. For instance, you can find subreddits on specific topics such as World of Warcraft, Indie Gaming, and even presidential hopeful Ron Paul. While each area of interest has its own moderator, community members are able to contribute by submitting and rating content from around the web that is related to the topic at hand. For everyday users, subreddits provide an easy way to quickly access the content that matters most. For marketers, they provide a way to generate visibility and meet business objectives.
Benefitting From Your Own subreddits
Perhaps the best thing to like about subreddits is the fact that anyone can create them. There are numerous benefits to setting up your own, starting with the community aspect. If fellow redditors share your interest, it could easily lead to a situation where users are commenting, sharing, and engaging in other ways that keep the community alive with activity. The site has millions of active users, all interested in something. What this means is that unless your area is built around an obscure topic like “overhanded Bolivian bowling techniques”, there is a great chance that you will be able to attract others who share your passion.
The big payoff to having your own subreddits is increased traffic. All that activity combined with solid content means it is highly likely that people will want to pay a visit and learn more about what you have to offer. Make sure your newly created subcategory is listed on the subreddits page, pass the word along to your connections on the site, and the possibilities are endless.
Some observers have gone as far to say that subreddits are what have enabled reddit to surpass Digg in the social bookmarking arena. This is not as farfetched as it may sound considering it is one of the platform’s most important features. Whether it is streamlining content discovery or building a community around your own, social marketers can make great strides by putting this essential element to use.
Last Tuesday (May 19th), Digg held their latest Townhall. After talking about upcoming Digg events, they began answering questions from users, and a screenshot of the first question they answered is below:
When presented with this question, Jay Adelson and Kevin Rose stated that they were planning on shutting down this feature in a few days. They said that while they realized this was a controversial decision, they had decided to replace it with new sharing options. The two sharing options they mentioned were Facebook and Twitter, and they said that these changes would make the sharing process simpler and more streamlined.
Digg stuck to this promise, and on Tuesday of this week (May 26th), they made the official announcement on their blog that they were removing the shout feature. In addition to discussing the ability to quickly share via Facebook or Twitter, the Digg post also stated that while they have removed the “Blog This” feature, they still have a shortcut for sharing via email (as you can see from the screenshot below):
On April 2nd, Digg launched the DiggBar. In Digg’s words, the DiggBar allows you to “Digg directly on the destination site, easily share stories, access, view comments while on the story page, discover related stories, see more stories from the same source and discover random stories.” In reality, as TechCrunch noted on the day that this new feature from Digg was launched, the DiggBar is a way to keep “you on Digg and shows the site being pointed to in an iframe wrapper.” This means that while Digg used to send large amounts of traffic in exchange for being able to feature great pieces of content on their web site, they are now trying to have the best of both worlds by not only using content from other publishers but by also benefiting from the traffic that content generates.
Not surprisingly, this new feature has generated a lot of controversy throughout the Internet community. While there has been a lot of scattered discussion about why many people feel the new DiggBar is pure evil, here is a centralized look at the three main reasons people are getting upset:
Steals Traffic and Links: As some people have stated, “Digg is just a glorified scraper site now.” The reason that this statement has some validity to it is because not only is Digg stealing traffic by framing in content from other publishers, but because the DiggBar includes a URL shortening feature, people will be linking to the “Digg URL” instead of the actual URL of the content. Regardless of how you feel about SEO, social media optimization, linkbait or any other related topics, I think we can all agree that when a publisher takes time to create a piece of content that people enjoy, they should be the one to receive the links and traffic generated from that piece of content, and not a third-party service. Just imagine if Google started framing all of their search results and creating their own URLs instead of linking to the original URL of the content!
I have noticed over the past couple of months as I have become more active in the Digg community (and making many friends), a sort of dark cloud appears when the subject of SEO comes up. Not only is there a general dislike of SEOs in the Digg community, but my URL has also been banned from Digg, per a ‘so called’ “TOS violation”. The ironic part is that the article that got the attention “10 Sure-Fire Ways to Get Banned by Digg” was about how to get banned by Digg.
I have been warned in the past by many friendly Diggers that it is not a good idea to have anything that reflects SEO in your profile, or this could make you lose points within the Digg community as a whole.
So here is where it starts to get interesting. A high profile user. mklopez submitted an article from this blog a couple of weeks ago. Now, I have to say I was a bit surprised (and a bit flattered at the same time) that a high profile Digger had submitted one of the articles from my blog. This naturally caught my attention. So I was paying attention to the submission at this point. It was climbing fast and hot in all categories.
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