I joined Reddit in early 2016 – curious but unsure how I would use it. Reddit can be like a large city:

  • There are nicer parts of town where people are helpful and give directions to your destination if asked.
  • There are the seedier parts of town where you might ask the wrong person a stupid question without reading the rules for that Subreddit.
  • Getting around the city – you might do a guided bus tour and just see certain things, or you might meander around the trendier parts of town to see what everyone is talking about.
  • There might be a town hall where you can ask a public figure questions or on Reddit an “Ask Me Anything” session.
  • You can walk around the city cloaked in anonymity or you can wear a name-tag and fill out your full profile. You may run into someone you know, but it would be like running into a friend in New York City.

A few quick tips and a link to Reddit 101:

  • Follow specific subreddits (or communities) that interest you (a subreddit has r/ before it). When you first log into Reddit, you’ll see a feed curated from the subreddit’s you’ve joined.
  • A subreddit will note how many members it has and how many are online.
  • Subreddits should have a documented purpose, the rules for posting and commenting, and links to related subreddits.
  • Every subreddit is moderated and has rules specific to that subreddit. (r/Keep_Track doesn’t let you post unless your account is a certain age and you have a certain level of Karma).
  • Karma is earned by posting popular content, answering questions, and having your comments upvoted.
  • Posts and/or comments might have to be reviewed by a moderator before it goes live. If a post is rejected, you’ll receive a notice that it was rejected. Comments are also deleted if they break the rules of that subreddit.
  • Reddit has its own slang: TL;DR (too long; didn’t read) /s (sarcasm) ELI5 (explain like I’m five) OP (original poster) TIL (today I learned)
  • You organically find people that share your interests, but finding people doesn’t seem to be the purpose of Reddit.

When I log into Reddit, I see my feed based on the communities I joined. To the right, I see the top 5 growing communities. There may be certain subreddits that you want to read more often, and you can favorite them. If you change your mind about a subreddit, you can “leave.”

I joined the r/Coronavirus subreddit in early February because most of the media was focused on politics and upcoming primaries. I was able to access verified content and debate it with other people around the world. This subreddit is now up to 1.9million members around the world, and 71k are online currently.

Last year, I met with a financial planner based on a friend’s recommendation. Despite using the budget app, Mint, for years, I couldn’t easily fill out his worksheet—like how much is spent on groceries a month. Going forward, I wanted a budget system that was more than a checkbook register. I searched the web and sampled the App Store, but nothing fit quite right. I joined the r/PersonalFinance board on Reddit and came across a Google doc with linked sheets and a form to use on the iPhone to key in expenses as you incur them—exactly what I was looking for.

“Reddit’s mission is ‘to help people discover places where they can be their true selves, and empower our community to flourish’. It’s a complex place where your faith in humanity can be restored, destroyed and rebuilt again in the space of minutes.” Scientists should learn to love Reddit – via The Guardian, October 2016.

Reddit has not been free from controversy, as noted in the article linked above. For me, having left Facebook over two years ago, I feel like I found my tribe on Reddit.