Geek Proud, GeekOut.

The weird, wonderful and bizarre world of reddit

So if you have heard about reddit then you may of heard that it’s full of trolls, hate speech, nudity, utter pointless conversations and all sorts of other things. It’s usually all the bad rumours that gets spread about reddit and all of those rumours are true but if you dig a little and are selective about what you read then it can be full of very useful bits of information.

If you have not heard of reddit then imagine an infinitely big notice board. This notice board can contain a posting about any subject with any number of replies to that post. It can be written by anyone, in any language by people around the world and on top of that it is really well organised.


Reddit, nicknamed the front page of the internet, because if there is anything major happening on the internet there will be a post about it on reddit. When you look at the front page of reddit without logging in it might be horribly confusing. What you’re seeing is the most up voted (known as hot) safe items across all sub-reddit’s. A sub-reddit (sticking with our notice board analogy) is like a section of the notice board that is dedicated to a particular subject. Reddit does have plenty of not safe content, usually labelled as “nsfw” (18+ or offensive) content but I think this is strictly filtered by the front page. The voting system is simple, you can cast a vote up or down on any item or comment which will bubble the item or comment closer to the top of the pile (if you’re sorting it by popularity). You can also get guilded for posts in the form of reddit gold. Reddit gold can only be spent on reddit and it disables the adverts and adds a few other features for a month. You can also sort the posts by a number of other attributes allowing you a great deal of flexibility how you read your news. Next thing to do would be to sign up for an account and for this I have the follow advice.

  • After you sign up, unsubscribe from any sub-reddit you’re not interested in. New accounts get a base set of subscriptions
  • Type something into search that you are interested in, no doubt you will find a dedicated sub-reddit for it
  • Subscribe to that sub-reddit (if you like what you read)
  • Before you post, search, then have a look at the sidebar, it will have guidelines on how to behave, maybe even a wiki
  • Wait to be acknowledged/ridiculed by you’re peers (depending on the sub-reddit)

The thing is reddit gives everyone a space to go, for every group that provides something good there is probably one that provides an antithesis for it. The great thing is that it is up to you what you read and I encourage you to be very careful about which sub-reddit you subscribe to. You can pick up some awesome travel tips, get your photography critiqued, find useful information on learning a new skill, pose questions to a famous person via an AMA (Ask Me Anything) or just share pictures of your private parts. If you’re looking for a fight then reddit might just be the best place for you, keep in mind these forums are monitored by people or robots (called mods) and they have the right to kick you out and ban you if they feel you are spoiling the party. I was banned from posting from /r/tattoo for a while. What happened was that complimenting a guy on his tattoo (and hair). Seems ridiculous I know and I was not trying to pick the guy up, I was just being nice. It’s often the way you react to these things that can make the difference. I mailed the mods and asked why I was banned and then politely explained myself. I did not take it personally and then a few months later they unbanned me.

Typical Reddit Front Page

Typical front page of Reddit

If you find something on reddit that really grinds your gears try looking at /r/aww for a moment and see if your rage continues. Reddit can be full of inspiring things that make me believe that humans are not all bad people (despite what the media tells us). Take this lady for example who lost her fiancé at Christmas and was struggling to keep it together with a two kids and bills, she posted on /r/assistance and then the reddit community sent her Amazon parcels to help. Now this user could be a sham artist leeching off the back of a nice community but something in me want’s to believe her. Regardless if it is or isn’t true I am proud of the human race for getting together to make stuff happen. Be warned though it’s very easy to be lead astray and like those millions of spam e-mails out there give up your life savings. Our advice (with anything funding based) is always do your research and give only what you can afford, ensure you can still eat and have a roof over your head first. Reddit also proudly holds the worlds biggest secret santa, something I have yet to get involved with but have always been very curious about.

So now you know what reddit is all about. If you have tried it and think it’s useless then it’s likely that you just have not found the right sub-reddit for you as yet. Why not come look at the GeekOut sub-reddit, we are currently only posting the articles we write there but we could use it to arrange future meets or talk about our latest obsession, cinema, MTG, or geeky things we have done. Your post might make it into a fully blown article, either written by you or ably assisted by one of our talented team. Let us know what you think below, or even on our sub-reddit, Facebook or Twitter pages.


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