Trouble in Paradise

A long time ago, Reddit (reddit.com) used to be awesome. Not anymore.

A little while ago, someone posted a link to a picture of the old Reddit; the way Reddit used to look before it got popular. Pretty much every link on the Hot page was something tech related, or something else interesting. Sure, everyone one of those links was submitted by Paul Graham, but they were all good links. Even when I joined Reddit a few months ago, there was still an influx of good news stories. Reddit was awesome.

Now, you have to go to programming if you want to see anything mildly stimulating; and those links are only good half the time. Take a look at the Reddit Hot page right now, and it will probably look something like this:

1 ) George Bush is stupid
2 ) Today’s XKCD comic
3 ) Why all the cool kids are converting to atheism
4 ) Bush is still stupid
5 ) BEST PIC EVAR LOLZ
6 ) Lisp programmers have higher IQs than Java programmers
7 ) You should move to Canada!
8 ) Guy talks with a bug [video, funny]
9 ) He’s still stupid

And so on and so forth. That’s not awesome. Not by a long shot.

I can only assume this is the price a social bookmarking site must pay for popularity. Reddit is about what the community likes, not what an individual likes; and now the community consists primarily of 20-year-old ultra-liberal Python programmers.

At least I know I’m not the only one who has a problem with the new Reddit. Unfortunately, meta-links of the “Guys, we need to vote up cooler links” variety are overshadowed by meta-links of the “CONDE NAST IS TAKING OUR FREEDOMS!!!1” variety.

So, consider this a call to all Redditors: vote interesting, fresh links up and boring, repetitive links down. Save your site before it goes even further down the toilet.

I used to think Reddit was better than Digg. It used to have links to articles that were truly interesting; now, we get the same old stories, the same old pictures, day in and day out. I suppose the only solution is to build a news site that has an IQ test its users must complete before they can register:

“Would you rather see a story about Bush making a monkey face, or a story about concurrency in Haskell?” “TEH FIRST 1!” “No, you fail.”

That could work.

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One Response to “Trouble in Paradise”

  1. Justin Says:

    The problem I see with the whole vote interesting idea is that I find a lot of cheesy “OMG THIS IS COLL” material interesting. And since there is so much more lower quality cool stuff, it tends to dominate the hot charts.

    I think it would be a better if reddit had some sort of alter personality feature where you could simultaneously vote up AND down on any particular item. Sometimes I go to reddit to see interesting programming related articles and websites. Other times I may want to go and see political debates or witty videos or beautiful panoramas. With the current system, I’ll vote utterly useless links down, but if there is a link that doesn’t fall into the category that my particular mood, then how do I vote it? I don’t want to read it at the moment, but I know it’s something I would like to read..

    I’ve tried using multiple accounts, but it’s frustrating to change accounts when I’m already in the middle of reading something.

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