I’m in love, obsessed, addicted. There I said it. I have to get a hit four or five times a day. Nothing else can make me feel like this. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to give it up. What is the object of my obsession? Reddit.

Reddit is an online aggregator: users submit links and the community votes them up or down and make comments. The most popular content can range from cat pictures to Occupy Wall Street. It has thousands of devoted users and countless more “lurkers” (individuals who simply view the content without signing up or contributing content).

Like its more immature and slightly vulgar cousin 4chan, Reddit is the birthplace of the internet. Heard Rebecca Black’s Friday or been rickrolled? Blame Reddit.  It’s the source of the vast majority of memes (funny jokes or images) you see. For example, Reddit made Nate Dern a viral superstar due to his one-word appearance (huh?) in an AT&T commercial last week.

Despite being remarkably ugly and initially overwhelming to use, the aggregator brought in more than 1.6 billion page views in October 2011. The site is incredibly popular with early adopters and mavens (information specialists who we rely upon to connect us with new information). That’s why content on Reddit so frequently goes viral.

Along with Digg and Stumbleupon, Reddit is a key site to seed content. Whilst all aggregators are resistant to overt marketing: content that that has strong ideas, visual impact or humour is frequently upvoted. Opinion and information is also highly regarded and links to blog posts, how-tos or infographics will also be upvoted, generating traffic to your website.

Blue Glass provides a great introduction about how to use Redditand Sortable has created a fantastic infographic about the site.

Reddit History
Sortable’s The Reddit Invasion

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