The Loss of Reddit

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Reddit and I go way, way back.

I was there when Alexis and Steve presented the early idea (and a working application) at one of the early Web Innovator’s meetups in a small, cramped bar in Kendall Square, Cambridge.

Several months later, there was a startup meetup at MIT.  I was one of three groups presenting at a startup gathering at MIT.  The guys from Reddit spoke right after me.

When I kicked off OnStartups.com, reddit readers were an early source of traffic and helped build the readership of the site to what it is today.  Back in the early days, the content was great and I found myself going to reddit several times a day to find useful and interesting content.  (It didn’t hurt that my own articles were making it to the front page of reddit on a pretty regular basis).

Now, I’m saddened when I look at the front page of reddit and what is popular there.  It seems that the system has been overtaken by articles on the political, the weird and the arcane (and sometimes all three).  I could post some of the links on the front page here to make my point, but it’s subjective.  Go see for yourself.  As a result of this deterioration of quality, I find myself going to reddit much less often than I used to. 

I’m not sure what caused the downward trend.  In fact, it may not even be a downward trend (that’s subjective).  Perhaps what’s popular on reddit now simply reflects what’s going on within the user base.  It’s just not for me.  Perhaps it was when Conde Nast bought reddit that the decline began.  Perhaps Alexis and Steve just lost interest.  Perhaps the trend was inevitable as more and more people joined reddit and became a diffuse audience instead of a clustered community of like-minded people.  I don’t know.

Of course, losing me as a frequent user has almost zero impact on reddit.  The site seems like it’s continuing to do well (in terms of traffic and popularity).  But, I still feel a sense of loss.


The Loss of Reddit
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About Dharmesh Shah
Dharmesh Shah is a serial software entrepreneur. He is the author of the widely read startup blog OnStartups.com which focuses on advice and ideas for startup founders and management teams. Dharmesh is also the co-founder of HubSpot.com, a software company building applications that help small businesses transform their website into a marketing machine. WebProNews Writer
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