Reddit Follows JotSpot, Takes The Cash

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While the morning discussion over tea and scones focused on Google’s acquisition of enterprise wiki software firm JotSpot, Cond Nast’s Wired Digital division received a present from its corporate masters, who purchased news-sharing site Reddit for Wired.

Reddit Follows JotSpot, Takes The Cash
Reddit: Show Me The Money

Add in the buy of TravelPost.com by travel search site SideStep, and Tuesday proved to be what Valleywag airily dubbed a clusterpluck. All that was missing was Yahoo buying someone or being bought, but we can’t have everything.

For our readers who have not tried out Reddit, it’s what some would call a social media site. People suggest stories on Reddit, and other site users can give those stories an up or down vote. Fast-moving stories can appear quickly on Reddit’s main page, and that exposure brings a story some extra traffic.

That traffic is not on the same scale as the server-melting crush a front page link from Digg, Slashdot, or even Fark can level on a hapless website. Wired wants to push that scale and make Reddit a prominent part of Cond Nast’s online properties.

A Wired report said Reddit’s four full time staffers would move from Boston to San Francisco, where Wired has its headquarters. But Reddit could have been a Google stablemate for JotSpot nine months ago.

Boston Globe columnist Penelope Trunk wrote about Reddit in February 2006. During that chat, Reddit’s founders disclosed Google’s attentions to the nascent company. “By November 2005 they received a buyout offer from Google, (which they declined in favor of continuing to build the company on their own),” she wrote.

Trunk posted about the Reddit acquisition and called it a good example of knowing when to make one’s move, considering how things had changed from February to now:

At that point, Reddit was on an exciting and seemingly limitless path. Today, though, Reddit’s path as a stand alone company might be a dead end because Digg, their competitor, is now an industry standard, and Reddit is second fiddle. Taking the buyout offer now, from a premier publishing company with enthusiasm for building out Reddit, makes good sense for (Reddit founders) Ohanian and Huffman.

Kourosh Karimkhany, general manager of Wired Digital, said in the Wired report, “Our goal will be to build Reddit as an independent company by collaborating with Wired through the integration of its core technology, and by offering partnerships to allow others to do the same.”


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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