Wonder Tools — Make the Most of Reddit

A catch-up guide for those new to Reddit

Good morning and welcome to this week’s post! I started using Reddit in 2006, primarily in search of new story ideas. It remains an underappreciated social platform among journalists. It’s a fantastic place to learn about niche communities and topics, find new sources, and stumble upon surprising stories.

In this post I’m sharing:

  • 8 things to know about Reddit

  • 6 concise handouts and links

  • 5 tips for making the most of Reddit, including takeaways from last week’s live event with Reddit’s journalism reps

8 things to know about Reddit

  1. More than 50 million people visit Reddit daily to read or comment in more than 100,000 communities. Check out one of my favorites, reddit.com/r/todayilearned for a taste of the platform’s eclectic mix.

  2. Reddit is topic and community-based, not personality-driven. That distinguishes it from platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube, which tend to be more focused on notable people.

  3. Many communities cover broad subjects— like reddit.com/r/journalism (41.5k members) and reddit.com/r/philosophy (15.6 million). Most, though, cover niche subjects like reddit.com/r/Charcuterie (68.8k), reddit.com/r/videogamescience (23.4k).

    For journalists, thousands of local communities—as well as health and science communities—are especially useful for learning about issues of community interest.

  4. Some subreddits are made of makers and doers— like amateur astrophotography — with 1.4 million members who love to take pictures of space— and reddit.com/r/cookiedecorating (43.2k). Others use Reddit for professional purposes, like the community with 6,100 members focused on journalism job openings, or reddit.com/r/dataisbeautiful (15.6 million) focused on high-quality maps, charts, and graphs.

  5. Reddit profiles showcase all of a user’s posts, unlike other social platforms — Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc— which don’t show all of a user’s comments and posts across various pages and groups. On Reddit, you can see everything a user has posted. Pseudonymity is a core part of Reddit, though, so you won’t necessarily see a person’s real name, as you often do on Twitter, LinkedIn or Clubhouse.

  6. Reddit is decentralized compared with other social platforms. Each group — or subreddit— is governed by its own community. As Gabriel Sands, Reddit’s Senior Partnerships Manager for News & Journalism, puts it, “Reddit is a collection of cocktail parties.”

  7. Having raised $250 million in new funding in February, Reddit is now valued at $6 billion. Half of Reddit users are between 18 to 34; 60% are male. Users spend 12 minutes per session on average. 

  8. Reddit recently acquired Dubsmash to expand the role of video on the platform.

6 resources for diving into Reddit

  1. Here’s a spreadsheet of Subreddits so you have a sense of what’s there

  2. Here’s a one-page handout from the Reddit journalism team for anyone looking to engage with Reddit users in a particular community.

  3. Here’s Reddit’s handout for news orgs to make the most of the platform

  4. Here’s a guide to why and how to embed Reddit posts. It includes Time.com’s embed of a Reddit post about a grandma who looks like Scarlett Johansson.  

  5. Here’s Reddit’s recent year in review post, with notable highlights; and here’s the Best of Reddit page, with some of the most intriguing comments. 

  6. Here’s good Reddit 101 guide for anyone new to the platform.


🎥 Watch last week’s workshop

Below is the video recording of last week’s live session with Youyoung Lee, Senior Manager, Media Partnerships at Reddit and Gabriel Sands, Reddit’s Senior Partnerships Manager for News & Journalism.
For those who prefer non-video options, here’s an audio recording and a closed-caption transcript

5 tips for making the most of Reddit

Participate, Don’t Just Promote

To use Reddit for reporting, first join a community, listen and participate.
You can email them at press@reddit.com if you have questions about how best to reach a particular community. Another option is to reach out to a particular community’s moderator to ask them for guidance on reaching out to community members. 

In our live event, Gabriel described how journalists had connected with members of a community on Reddit called QAnonCasualties by listening and participating respectfully. He also described how the Dallas Morning News actively uses subreddits not just for self-promotion but also to learn about communities, share useful info, gather ideas, and respond to readers. See how the Dallas Morning News posts to Reddit here, in its profile. 

Brush up on the lingo

Use Google for Reddit searches

Reddit search allows you to search across Reddit for key terms, and then you can adjust the search parameter to look for something WITHIN the subreddit. But you can also just go to Google and do a site-specific search, like “site:reddit.com qanon.”

Create a Custom Feed to keep up with communities 

You can roll up multiple subreddits into a Custom Feed, like Reddit Classics, which includes seven super-interesting subreddits, including Change My View (1.2 million members), where people share interesting debates and IAmA (20 million members), where people with unique life experiences answer in-depth questions. Here’s a personal finance feed, from Gabriel, consisting of 15 communities. Rather than following each of those 15, you can just follow this one feed, like a Twitter list.

Use Reddit to engage with communities, develop new sources, and come up with fresh story ideas

  • USA Today relied on Redditors for this story about 2018 elections

  • Take a look at how the Washington Post’s Reddit account and the Dallas Morning News page for useful models on community engagement

  • PopSugar drew on Reddit for a piece about a mom raising a daughter with special needs

What’s your favorite aspect of Reddit, or fave subreddit? Share a comment 👇

Leave a comment

P.S. You’re invited 💌

On Monday, March 15 at 12pm ET, I’m hosting a live 40-minute chat with mmhmm CEO Phil Libin, who previously co-founded Evernote & was its CEO. Join us to hear about Phil’s favorite digital tools and workflow. RSVP here.

Register free here