18 votes

Storming Reddit's moat

15 comments

  1. [5]
    NaraVara
    Link
    This piece makes me realize the current generation of product managers and developers might just be too young to remember forum culture or even the world before Web 2.0. The guy thought “lurkers”...

    This piece makes me realize the current generation of product managers and developers might just be too young to remember forum culture or even the world before Web 2.0.

    The guy thought “lurkers” was a Reddit origin term and he seems to think the disaggregation of Reddit into niches would be something new when, in fact, what Reddit did was aggregate all the niches that were scattered around before.

    I’m not sure what this means writ large but it makes me kind of sad. I had hoped the days of viewing the internet as a series of playpens under the ownership of powerful platform owners would be an aberration and we’d slowly move back to a more disaggregated and user-created way if being and interacting online. But I guess that genie is not going back in the bottle.

    This must be how English farmers felt after the Enclosure acts. .

    33 votes
    1. [3]
      skybrian
      Link Parent
      It seems a bit much to expect people to automatically know history. Someone has to teach them. Eternal summer is still eternal (to use another old-school reference.)

      It seems a bit much to expect people to automatically know history. Someone has to teach them. Eternal summer is still eternal (to use another old-school reference.)

      13 votes
      1. [2]
        NaraVara
        Link Parent
        Yeah I just didn't think of it as history. It's like, 8 years old at this point so it makes sense, but time compression is a hell of a thing.

        Yeah I just didn't think of it as history. It's like, 8 years old at this point so it makes sense, but time compression is a hell of a thing.

        10 votes
        1. xstresedg
          Link Parent
          It's like with me. I came after the era of BBS, and I wasn't aware of that until I was already an adult. I thought message boards/forums and chatrooms were always the thing once the internet was...

          It's like with me. I came after the era of BBS, and I wasn't aware of that until I was already an adult. I thought message boards/forums and chatrooms were always the thing once the internet was fully formed, but in fact was grossly incorrect haha. Same goes for websites and browsing.

          I eventually got learnt.

          1 vote
    2. elcuello
      Link Parent
      When I joined reddit 13 years ago it felt intriguing and intimidating. English isn't my first language and that just made it even more intimidating. It was very tech heavy and obviously without...

      When I joined reddit 13 years ago it felt intriguing and intimidating. English isn't my first language and that just made it even more intimidating. It was very tech heavy and obviously without subreddits, imbedded pics [pic] and videos and very text heavy. I absolutely love it from the start and I was lurking for a long time before I posted my first comment which I don't remember now.
      Today you could make you first comment of the bat with a joke or meme reference but back then the one liners was scarce and had to be somewhat relevant. That's not to say everything was better quality but low effort posts/comments didn't seem to really get any traction and therefore you didn't see it or I at least don't remember seeing it very often. One of the reasons It took so long for me to make my first comment was that it was like my all my thoughts were already being said and in a much more eloquent way that I could ever say it. I get the same feeling here now only the intimidation is more or less gone because I'm older and more experienced. I hope this place can give other people the same feeling reddit gave me back then.

      11 votes
  2. [4]
    Deimos
    (edited )
    Link
    There's some good insight in this article (along with a fair amount that I'd disagree with), but its core example is basically false. Probably the main reason the external ChangeMyView...

    There's some good insight in this article (along with a fair amount that I'd disagree with), but its core example is basically false. Probably the main reason the external ChangeMyView site—originally named "ChangeAView", renamed to "Ceasefire"—failed was because they didn't try to migrate their existing community away from Reddit. They kept running the subreddit exactly the same as always while also launching a separate site that had almost no compelling reasons for people to use it instead. I think they only ever made one post in the subreddit about the new site.

    I don't mean to say that they necessarily would have succeeded if they had actually attempted to migrate, but my point is that they didn't even try. The founder of the subreddit and the external site said he's planning to make a blog post soon with his thoughts about shutting it down, I'm looking forward to that.

    24 votes
    1. [2]
      Amarok
      Link Parent
      One thing worth pointing out is that one does not need to convince the entire community to move. Every group has those core members - the experts, the heavy submitters, the chatty commenters -...

      One thing worth pointing out is that one does not need to convince the entire community to move. Every group has those core members - the experts, the heavy submitters, the chatty commenters - that drive participation. Those are the people needed during a migration, not the subscribers. Easy to identify on reddit using the right tools.

      Did the CMV folks take the time to identify all of those people and get them in on the discussion, I wonder? Or did they just toss up a site, share the link, and expect everything to take care of itself? The only way the latter works is if the community knows it can't stay in its present location and has to migrate (like all the banned forums on reddit). Even then you'll bleed well over half the total participants during the transition.

      Barring a threat to the original forum, it's incredibly hard to convince people to move. Sunk costs and all that. I wouldn't expect most communities on reddit to think about moving unless the site has done something that has torpedoed their user experience... or unless the new site has something they want that they know they can't get from the old one.

      Reddit goes out of its way to make sticky threads and any mod-related stuff all but impossible to find. If one really wants to get the word out, there's only one way that will reach every user (even on mobile) - and that's an automod sticky comment attached to every single thread in the forum. If you haven't gone that far you haven't even made a serious attempt at an announcement and shouldn't be surprised there's no interest.

      7 votes
      1. skybrian
        Link Parent
        It seems like a community that could actually pull off a move would need closer ties? Like, people would actually have to be friends. One early sign of that would be willingness to have a meeting...

        It seems like a community that could actually pull off a move would need closer ties? Like, people would actually have to be friends. One early sign of that would be willingness to have a meeting in a different forum (like a video chat) as a one-time event. Also, people having reason to exchange contact info so they could email each other or even (gasp) talk on the phone, and maybe even get together in real life if they got a chance.

        There’s nothing particularly wrong with loose ties in pseudonymous communities but it’s a different sort of gathering.

        I’m reminded of the difference between coworkers and people you actually invite over your house and would keep in touch with after you change jobs. Or maybe the difference between being on good terms with your neighbor and knowing them well enough that you remain connected when you move away?

        6 votes
    2. elcuello
      Link Parent
      That's really interesting and kind of weird because it clashes with the whole premise of the article. How did he get that wrong? I found it to be some good insight overall but I agree that for...

      That's really interesting and kind of weird because it clashes with the whole premise of the article. How did he get that wrong? I found it to be some good insight overall but I agree that for people who's been on reddit for 10+ years this seems a bit n00bish.

      4 votes
  3. [6]
    joplin
    Link
    This is a piece about why moving r/changemyview off of Reddit failed, and some of the obstacles needed to overcome such a move. Unfortunately, the author doesn't give you the answers in this...

    This is a piece about why moving r/changemyview off of Reddit failed, and some of the obstacles needed to overcome such a move. Unfortunately, the author doesn't give you the answers in this piece, as they have another piece planned for that in the near future. But I thought that since there's been talk of moving various subreddits to Tildes, it might be an interesting read to others here.

    Seeing an opportunity, the r/changemyview moderators decided in 2019 that they would “unbundle” the community from Reddit - migrate it, in other words, to a dedicated website. ... But the effort didn’t last. Less than a year and a half later, the new CMV website is dead and the community continues to thrive on Reddit. What went wrong?
    ...
    “Unbundling,” as it’s called, is almost a fundamental law of the internet. As platforms grow, they breed new niches, and eventually reach the point where they can’t serve those interests as well as a more focused competitor. And because of the growth of the overall platform, those niches aren’t so niche anymore.

    10 votes
    1. [5]
      suspended
      Link Parent
      Having the panel of academic scholars, from r/AskBibleScholars, participating in some form at Tildes has been discussed here and @Deimos is still open to the idea. I don't want to attempt to...

      Having the panel of academic scholars, from r/AskBibleScholars, participating in some form at Tildes has been discussed here and @Deimos is still open to the idea.

      I don't want to attempt to dismantle/migrate/move r/AskBibleScholars from Reddit to anywhere else. I believe that having a voluntary option for the panel of scholars to participate here is the best scenario.

      8 votes
      1. vord
        Link Parent
        Letting it grow organically, on its own merit. Trying to forcibly migrate an existing userbase doesn't really work unless that userbase is very small or completely captive.

        Letting it grow organically, on its own merit.

        Trying to forcibly migrate an existing userbase doesn't really work unless that userbase is very small or completely captive.

        6 votes
      2. [3]
        Good_Apollo
        Link Parent
        I don’t know the history, why this subreddit in particular?

        I don’t know the history, why this subreddit in particular?

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          suspended
          Link Parent
          A while back I asked if the Tildes users would be interested and the response was an overwhelming 'yes'.

          A while back I asked if the Tildes users would be interested and the response was an overwhelming 'yes'.

          2 votes
          1. cfabbro
            Link Parent
            Also worth mentioning is that you're the subreddit's founder, since @Good_apollo may not know that.

            Also worth mentioning is that you're the subreddit's founder, since @Good_apollo may not know that.

            3 votes