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Difference between revisions of "Using Reddit"

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[https://www.reddit.com/ Reddit] is an online discussion and content sharing site that has been called the "front page of the internet". It can be difficult to navigate and [[Wikipedia:Reddit#Controversies_involving_Reddit|rather controversial]], but still contains a lot of valuable content. In general the signal-to-noise ratio on Reddit is low (lower than on sites like [[Quora]] or LessWrong) but since many more people use Reddit than Quora or LessWrong there is possibly still more total opportunities to discover interesting content or connect with smart people there. Moreover developing the ability to [https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-most-underrated-life-skills/answer/Alex-K-Chen sort through low-quality content for good information] may prove useful.  
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[https://www.reddit.com/ Reddit] is an online discussion and content sharing site that has been called the "front page of the internet". It can be difficult to navigate and [[Wikipedia:Reddit#Controversies_involving_reddit|rather controversial]], but still contains a lot of valuable content. In general the signal-to-noise ratio on Reddit is low (lower than on sites like [[Quora]] or LessWrong), but since many more people use Reddit than Quora or LessWrong there is still possibly more total opportunities to discover interesting content or connect with smart people there. Moreover developing the ability to [https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-most-underrated-life-skills/answer/Alex-K-Chen sort through low-quality content for good information] may prove useful.  
  
 
On this page we describe some general considerations on how to get the most out of Reddit.
 
On this page we describe some general considerations on how to get the most out of Reddit.
  
* Although a single account allows you to contribute to all parts of the site, each subreddit still acts as a separate community. This sort of division is somewhere in between what you see on Quora (people are extremely "fluid" across topics) and Stack Exchange (very discrete communities; separate account registration for each site).<br />Given the somewhat discretized and extremely numerous communities of Reddit, finding the most interesting content often means finding the right subreddits to browse.
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==General remarks==
  
* The Quora question "[https://www.quora.com/Reddit-website/Which-subreddits-do-the-smartest-Redditors-follow Reddit (website): Which subreddits do the smartest Redditors follow?]"
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Here are some general things to keep in mind when using Reddit.
  
* There is enough content on Reddit that a domain-restricted search can turn up useful results. On search engines like Google and DuckDuckGo, preface your searches by <code>site:reddit.com</code>
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* Although a single account allows you to contribute to all parts of the site, each subreddit still generally acts as a separate community. This sort of division is somewhere in between what you see on Quora (people are extremely "fluid" across topics) and Stack Exchange (very discrete communities; separate account creation for each site).
  
* Since most people post under pseudonyms, and since many people also quickly change accounts (e.g. by using throwaways), identity is less important on Reddit than on sites like [[Quora]] or LessWrong.
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* Since most people post under pseudonyms, and since many people also quickly change accounts (e.g. by using throwaways), identity is less important on Reddit than on sites like Quora or LessWrong.
  
* Despite the underemphasis on users on Reddit, it might still be worth looking into particularly notable users like [https://www.reddit.com/user/gwern gwern].
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* Reddit practices shadowbanning (sometimes called [[Wikipedia:Hellbanning|hellbanning]] or ghost banning), which means it's possible your posts will appear invisible to others. This shouldn't be a problem for most users, though, and definitely isn't a problem if you only browse (and don't post).
  
* Many external sites often link to certain Reddit threads. For instance, Scott Alexander of Slate Star Codex often links to Reddit threads in his recurring links posts. You can find some of these [https://encrypted.google.com/search?hl=en&q=site%3Aslatestarcodex.com%20reddit here].<br />More generally, if you can find people who have the ability to filter out content on Reddit in a way that you like, this can lead you to some of the most useful content on Reddit with little effort on your part.
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==Finding good content==
  
* Particular subreddits, combined with even rudimentary searching, can turn up surprisingly useful information. For instance, one might search for the keyword "AMA" (an abbreviation for "Ask Me Anything") on the AskScience subreddit to find [http://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/search?q=AMA&sort=top&restrict_sr=on&t=all all the threads in the AskScience AMA series] (a series where users pose questions to real scientists about their research). Sometimes it is simply a matter of knowing what subreddits exist. For example, the subreddit for [[Effective altruism learning resources|effective altruism]] is called [http://www.reddit.com/r/smartgiving smartgiving].
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Finding content you like on Reddit can be a challenge. Keep the following in mind to help you find what you like.
  
* Reddit AMAs often have interesting content from experts on various topics. Some people associated with the broader effective altruism/rationality sphere, such as [https://www.reddit.com/comments/y9lm0/_/ Luke Muehlhauser] and [https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1x1dyy/i_am_bryan_caplan_economist_and_professor_at/ Bryan Caplan] have done AMAs.
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* Given the somewhat discretized and extremely numerous communities of Reddit, finding the most interesting content often means finding the right subreddits to browse. Sometimes it is simply a matter of knowing what subreddits exist. For example, the subreddit for [[Effective altruism learning resources|effective altruism]] is called [http://www.reddit.com/r/smartgiving smartgiving].<br />The Quora question "[https://www.quora.com/Reddit-website/Which-subreddits-do-the-smartest-Redditors-follow Reddit (website): Which subreddits do the smartest Redditors follow?]" lists some subreddits to look into.
  
* Reddit also practices shadowbanning (sometimes called [[Wikipedia:Hellbanning|hellbanning]] or ghost banning)
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* Particular subreddits, combined with even rudimentary searching, can turn up surprisingly useful information. For instance, you might search for the keyword "AMA" (an abbreviation for "Ask Me Anything") on the AskScience subreddit to find [http://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/search?q=AMA&sort=top&restrict_sr=on&t=all all the threads in the AskScience AMA series] (a series where users pose questions to real scientists about their research).
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* Despite the underemphasis on users on Reddit, it might still be worth looking into particularly notable users like [https://www.reddit.com/user/gwern gwern].
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* There is enough content on Reddit that a domain-restricted search can turn up useful results. On search engines like Google and DuckDuckGo, preface your searches by <code>site:reddit.com</code> to restrict your search to Reddit. For example, one can search for all Reddit discussions of Dread Pirate Roberts on Google like [https://www.google.com/#q=site:reddit.com+dread+pirate+roberts this].<br />Note that Reddit also natively has search, but this may be inferior to a Google search. (See [https://www.reddit.com/r/offmychest/comments/24qvek/reddit_your_search_engine_fucking_sucks/ this thread] for discussion.)
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* Many external sites often link to certain Reddit threads. For instance, Scott Alexander of Slate Star Codex often links to Reddit threads in his recurring links posts. You can find some of these [https://encrypted.google.com/search?hl=en&q=site%3Aslatestarcodex.com%20reddit here].<br />More generally, if you can find people who have the ability to filter out content on Reddit in a way that you like, this can lead you to some of the most useful content on Reddit with little effort on your part.
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* Reddit AMAs often have interesting content from experts on various topics. Some people associated with the broader effective altruism/rationality sphere, such as [https://www.reddit.com/comments/y9lm0/_/ Luke Muehlhauser] and [https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1x1dyy/i_am_bryan_caplan_economist_and_professor_at/ Bryan Caplan], have done AMAs.
  
 
* Reddit has the ability to filter link shares by website. To do this, simply navigate to <code>reddit.com/domain/URL</code>, where <code>URL</code> is the URL of the site in consideration. So for example https://www.reddit.com/domain/michaelochurch.wordpress.com/top/ and https://www.reddit.com/domain/slatestarcodex.com/top/ will show you the top link shares of Michael O. Church's blog and Slate Star Codex, respectively. In other words, Reddit can function as a great way look for top content on sites as well as seeing the commentary.
 
* Reddit has the ability to filter link shares by website. To do this, simply navigate to <code>reddit.com/domain/URL</code>, where <code>URL</code> is the URL of the site in consideration. So for example https://www.reddit.com/domain/michaelochurch.wordpress.com/top/ and https://www.reddit.com/domain/slatestarcodex.com/top/ will show you the top link shares of Michael O. Church's blog and Slate Star Codex, respectively. In other words, Reddit can function as a great way look for top content on sites as well as seeing the commentary.
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* For information on colleges, using a combination of Reddit (particularly subreddits of various schools), [[Quora]], and [[College Confidential]] is likely to turn up the most comprehensive information.
  
 
==See also==
 
==See also==

Revision as of 03:23, 29 June 2015

Reddit is an online discussion and content sharing site that has been called the "front page of the internet". It can be difficult to navigate and rather controversial, but still contains a lot of valuable content. In general the signal-to-noise ratio on Reddit is low (lower than on sites like Quora or LessWrong), but since many more people use Reddit than Quora or LessWrong there is still possibly more total opportunities to discover interesting content or connect with smart people there. Moreover developing the ability to sort through low-quality content for good information may prove useful.

On this page we describe some general considerations on how to get the most out of Reddit.

General remarks

Here are some general things to keep in mind when using Reddit.

  • Although a single account allows you to contribute to all parts of the site, each subreddit still generally acts as a separate community. This sort of division is somewhere in between what you see on Quora (people are extremely "fluid" across topics) and Stack Exchange (very discrete communities; separate account creation for each site).
  • Since most people post under pseudonyms, and since many people also quickly change accounts (e.g. by using throwaways), identity is less important on Reddit than on sites like Quora or LessWrong.
  • Reddit practices shadowbanning (sometimes called hellbanning or ghost banning), which means it's possible your posts will appear invisible to others. This shouldn't be a problem for most users, though, and definitely isn't a problem if you only browse (and don't post).

Finding good content

Finding content you like on Reddit can be a challenge. Keep the following in mind to help you find what you like.

  • Particular subreddits, combined with even rudimentary searching, can turn up surprisingly useful information. For instance, you might search for the keyword "AMA" (an abbreviation for "Ask Me Anything") on the AskScience subreddit to find all the threads in the AskScience AMA series (a series where users pose questions to real scientists about their research).
  • Despite the underemphasis on users on Reddit, it might still be worth looking into particularly notable users like gwern.
  • There is enough content on Reddit that a domain-restricted search can turn up useful results. On search engines like Google and DuckDuckGo, preface your searches by site:reddit.com to restrict your search to Reddit. For example, one can search for all Reddit discussions of Dread Pirate Roberts on Google like this.
    Note that Reddit also natively has search, but this may be inferior to a Google search. (See this thread for discussion.)
  • Many external sites often link to certain Reddit threads. For instance, Scott Alexander of Slate Star Codex often links to Reddit threads in his recurring links posts. You can find some of these here.
    More generally, if you can find people who have the ability to filter out content on Reddit in a way that you like, this can lead you to some of the most useful content on Reddit with little effort on your part.
  • Reddit AMAs often have interesting content from experts on various topics. Some people associated with the broader effective altruism/rationality sphere, such as Luke Muehlhauser and Bryan Caplan, have done AMAs.
  • For information on colleges, using a combination of Reddit (particularly subreddits of various schools), Quora, and College Confidential is likely to turn up the most comprehensive information.

See also