The 3 Simple Features that Make Reddit Better
- Downvoting Reveals a New Story:
This feature, singlehandedly, makes Reddit a more successful community. It seems very minor, but in actuality it is the cornerstone of a good promotion algorithm. The biggest shortcoming of any promotional site (digg, reddit, propeller) is that only a select few people, most ofen those interested in cheating the system, ever visit and use the “new” or “upcoming” sections. Subsequently, only already-promoted stories get the editorial oversight of the average user.
At reddit, when a user downvotes a story and refreshes the page, the next-best result replaces it. Reddit keeps a numbering system so I know that I have downvoted other stories, but I still do not have to dig through the results, no pun intended, to find new stories worth looking at. They are populated on the front page for me. I can downvote again, and again, and again, until my page is filled only with stories I enjoyed.In my average digg visit, I look at 15 stories – the default homepage.
In my average Reddit visit, I look at 45 stories – 15 more than the default number of stories on the homepage. I help filter Reddit results because they make this easy.
- Deleting Stories:
Sometimes you screw up. In fact, people screw up a lot. With Duplicate Content filters in place, like those at Digg, if a user screws up (bad headline, spelling errors, etc), a story will not succeed and, without craftiness, cannot be republished. On reddit, a user can immediately delete and resubmit a story with an error. He or she can also delete a story when they see it is a duplicate of one already on the homepage.Perhaps the best example I know of was a story I submitted that raised money for an Autism awareness group. It hit the front page of Reddit but, upon further examination by commenters, it became clear that the organization used their funds for lobbying against vaccinations – a position with which I was not comfortable. I deleted the story and it disappeared from the homepage of Reddit.
- URL-Only Duplicate Content Check:
Reddit’s submission system is mind-numbingly simple and only 1 page. There is no crazy duplicate content check. Only duplicate URLs are filtered out. There is also no CAPTCHA.Theoretically, the perfect community is self-policing. Reddit is much closer to this ideal than any other site in the industry.
Because of all of these features, reddit has faster submission-to-frontpage times, greater story diversity, and greater homepage personalization.