You Read It on Reddit?

More bulletin board than social bookmarking tools, Reddit has become the de facto standard in communal news sharing. It was originally founded by Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian in 2005 as part of the Y Combinator seed program. It later became part of the Conde Nast subsidiaries and released its underlying code as open source.

Named for the phrase “I read it”, the site has seen more than 70 million users in the past month. Not bad for one of the best social bookmarking tools, when you look at the core functionality of the community. Reddit is essentially a link popularity slash pop commentary site that is pretty bare bones at first glance.

But, Reddit is distinctly community driven and the content is almost self generating. Users can post links and stories that are then voted up or down by other community members. Depending on the votes, your link can disappear off the social bookmark tools radar or it can hang out at the top for more viewers. Quite simply, they describe the process as differentiating between what is good and what is junk.

The communities are constantly evolving as users create new subreddits, or categories within the main site. Generally, you can find a subreddit for any topic you are interested in, but if not, you can create your own. Again the fluidity of the site and diversity of topics add to Reddits popularity.

One of the things that makes Reddit unique as one of the best social bookmarking tools is their use of “karma” and community admin. For posts that you submit and that other users upvote, you recieve karma points on Reddit. This score keeping is really just a public acknowledgement of the good you have done for the community, but it underscores the fluid nature of the site as people and posts move up and down the rankings.

Some would say that the comment functionality is what truly makes Reddit the best social bookmarking tool, because it is what holds the community together (or splits them apart depending on your viewpoint). For every post, there are potentially multiple branches of comments that can be more interesting than the original link. Look it up, and say you read it.