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Reddit: Discourse Community Essay

893 words - 4 pages

As of 2013, there are over 2.5 billion worldwide Internet users and the number is growing every year. People are spending more and more time on the Internet vs. watching TV or reading a newspaper. The amount of information on the Internet is vastly increasing and websites like “reddit” are aiming to help make finding relevant news easier. Basically, reddit is as if a gateway to everything interesting that is going on in the world.
The common medium of communication is via discussion in the comments; this is where the ”true heart” of reddit lies. Unlike most other websites such as YouTube, reddit uses algorithms to produce the best ranking comments and allows for easy back and forth discussion. It is quite common for the comments to be more interesting than the post itself. There are even “sub-reddit’s” that are nothing but these discussions.
Content entries are organized by area of the site called “sub-reddit’s.” These are custom-made sub forums that allow community-focused content. So whether you like US soccer, punny jokes, or a TV show that stopped airing 10 years ago, there is a community of people still talking about it like it’s still on. Once you join a subreddit the communication norms depend on the rules set by the community. For example the show, “Breaking Bad” one of the rules is not to spoil the plot or else you get kicked out. You can also make your own community with just a click of a button!
As a new user of reddit, one will notice there are many abbreviations and acronyms that a new user may not be aware of prior to visiting the site. Sub-reddit’s such as IAMA stand for “I am a” and feature popular users and celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Gates, and Barack Obama. There is a common form of communication that uses abbreviation such as AMA and AMAA. They stand for “Ask me anything” and “Ask me almost anything.” The only way to find what these mean is to research it on the site or find another source on the web.
Once in a sub-reddit, users can provide information by posting links, images or asking discussion questions relevant to that forum, such as posting a cute cat in the sub-reddit “aww.” You can provide feedback by voting each submission “up” or “down” to rank the post and determine its position on the site’s page. It’s a simple idea but it effectively brings out the best of what people are reading or watching on the Internet right now. There are no editors on reddit, it’s all user uploaded so you never know what you’re going to find. But...

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