A quick guide to online social news community Reddit

The site offers opportunities to expand your online discoverability and demonstrate your expertise

RedditLogo-featureReddit is one of the largest online social news communities. People gather there to share and discuss stories on almost any topic imaginable. Reddit has been around since 2005 and has a worldwide registered user base in the millions. Billing itself as “the front page of the Internet”, Reddit is distinguished by a no-frills, bulletin-board look and a ranking system for posts in which users’ “upvotes” or “downvotes” determine which stories rise to the top of a page, and which sink into obscurity.

Reddit – what you need to know

  • Registered users are sometimes referred to as “redditors”. They can create, reply to, and vote on topic threads created by other redditors.
  • Posts are grouped into topical categories called “subreddits”.
  • A popular subreddit is the section AMA (for “Ask Me Anything”), where redditors can host and participate in Q&A sessions about their areas of expertise.
  • Reddiquette is an informal set of guidelines to follow before commenting or submitting on Reddit.

Why care?

Reddit is quickly becoming a top online news source and benefits from both the viral nature of social media and the growing reliance upon crowd-sourcing information for breaking news stories. Whether you peruse social news sites or not, there is no denying Reddit’s utility as a platform to connect with millions of curious, engaged minds quickly, easily, and for free. There are probably users in your field using Reddit in this way, discussing topics that you speak, teach, or write about.

What is the best way to become involved?

Reddit is known for hosting question-and-answer sessions with personalities from all spheres of life, from unknown (but interesting) people to well-known public figures. These online mass interviews are known on Reddit as AMAs (for “Ask Me Anything”) and are a great way to expand your online discoverability while demonstrating expertise and knowledge in a particular field or topic of discussion.

This article first appeared on SciTech Connect – our blog for science and technology book authors, resources and news.

AMA sessions have been hosted by an incredible range of people, from actors, athletes, and musicians to politicians (including the US President), authors, and researchers. Scientists in particular have held some fascinating discussions in AMAs across disciplines like nanoscience, paleontology, epidemiology, mathematics, engineering, sociology, chemistry, computer science, and many others.

Just some of the AMAs that have been hosted on Reddit.

Elsevier book authors are among those who have hosted AMA sessions, including aviation security expert Jeff Price and computer science researcher Jen Golbeck.

Getting started

Reddit has created a Q&A for beginners to guide you through the early stages.

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