Reddit started out as a blatant copy of digg, which was 6 months old when reddit launched. I think that sort of invalidates large parts of this essay.
Some digg copy from Dec. 2004:
"What's Digg? Digg is a technology news website that combines social
bookmarking, blogging, RSS, and non-hierarchical editorial control. With digg, users submit stories for review, but rather than allowing an editor to decide which stories go on the homepage, the users do."
Reddit copy from August 2005:
"A source for what's new and popular on the web--customized for you. We want to democratize the traditional model by giving editorial control to the people who use the site, not those who run it. All of the content on reddit is from users who are rewarded for good submissions (and punished for bad ones) by their peers. You decide what appears on your front page and simultaneously, which submissions rise to fame or fall into obscurity."
And, yes, I realize there was nothing completely original about digg, the idea was originally done by kuro5hin, yadda, yadda, and I actually have plenty of respect for PG and the reddit guys. I'm just saying....