Living Out Loud

My Reddit Account Can Vote


When I first joined Reddit back in 2006 it was ugly (I mean the design). It definitely had a Web 1.0 or 2.0 vibe. Over the years, people got so attached to the design that when the site was brought into the modern age, the company left the old design as an alternative to people who didn't want their favorite site changed. You can still go to and have an early 2000s experience. Millions of people do every day. In fact, Reddit is one of the most popular sites on the Internet, with more registered accounts than there are people in the United States. It came of an age in an era when Digg and Delicious, bookmarking and aggregation sites were insanely popular. It outlasted them and thrives to this day.

That's not to say that there haven't been some bumps along the way. Prior to 2015 Reddit infamously housed horrible communities, like r/FatPeopleHate, a toxic incel stew of an online gathering place. With the rise of the 45th US president, another infamous community, r/TheDonald got a lot of press. It's inhabitants couldn't abide by Reddit's rules on doxxing and hate speech and it too was eventually banned. Today you can still find conspiracy theories and anti-social trolls on Reddit but it is nothing like it once was.

Having said that, Reddit is not for the think skinned if you want to do more than just lurk and read. Lurking and reading is fine though and a worthy use of the site. I've gone years without posting, just checking in occasionally to look at memes or read wacky stories. Today I participate almost exclusively in a few tech communities, my favorites being r/MacApps and r/ObsidianMD. I cross post my tech flavored blog posts with links. I have to be careful. If people think you're just pimping your website for clicks they won't take kindly to it. You need to bring some worthy content with you and you need to answer questions about what you've written. Even then you aren't guaranteed a mannerly reception. A certain subsection on Reddit hates everything but FOSS.Others, are pretty tribal and if you like X as opposed to their Y, then you are deserving of contempt in their eyes. Although that kind of stuff happens regularly, those people are a minority and can usually be ignored.

Your Reddit experience depends largely on what communities you participate in. My son has some esoteric hobbies, like making arrowheads by hand, and there's a small Reddit for that full of nice helpful people. On the other hand, if you are a person who appreciates diversity in video games and you join one of the large gaming communities, you may have a different experience. Reddit definitely has a learning curve. People don't use their real names and go out of the way to remain anonymous normally. It's not an influencer lead site and people aren't earning a living posting there. To me, it's a holdover from the old web, good and bad. It's a great place to find information on all kinds of topics. I use it frequently at work when looking for solutions to IT problems.