The differences between Reddit's and Digg's origins are visible
even today. When a story gets enough votes on Digg it becomes the
new top story, as on Slashdot. Whereas on Reddit stories bubble
up from the bottom then sink back down again. This is a significant
difference because it makes Reddit harder to game.
Originally the Reddits thought they'd have to motivate people
to upvote stories by using the votes to train a filter. But it
turned out users were willing to vote out of a form of altruism,
so the idea of training a filter died out after a couple months.
As for the names, what they originally wanted to call Reddit was
Snoo, as in "what's new?" But the name was owned by a squatter
who wouldn't sell, so as a temporary expedient Alexis chose Reddit,
which Steve and I both hated initially. (They had to settle for
calling the Reddit alien Snoo.)
The Reddits learned of the existence of Digg a week or two after
launching. They were pretty bummed. We still use their story as
one of the canonical examples to encourage new YC funded startups
to launch quickly.
If Michael wasn't sure whether Reddit copied Digg, he could have
just asked me. But saturdays are slow days for traffic, especially
on Memorial Day weekend. Arguably he genuinely thinks he's giving
Alexis a gift of pageviews, which to an online publication must
seem valuable almost regardless of context.
I, unfortunately, care more about reputation than pageviews. My reply has been well-received, but I'd love for Michael to revise his headline to just insult me (which he's entitled to do) instead of make stuff up. I even have the email I sent Steve alerting him to digg (dated 7/11/05 - we launched 6/23/05).
The rest of the evidence to support what PG has said in the above comment can be found here, in screenshots from reddit since day 0.
I hope everyone has a splendid memorial day weekend. Surely the Internet has more important & interesting things to be discussing.
Having read Alexis' letter I'd hardly call it "slamming," and undeserving of this melodramatic bullshit.
Harsh. Digg might have done it first by a short margin but while digg fights just to remain relevant reddit and its community are doing massive actual good for the world - Haiti, Kiva, etc.
Too bad: I really enjoyed the Techcrunch web site last week because my customer CompassLabs was presenting at Techcrunch and it was a lot of fun following along remotely. I don't understand the negativity of the linked article though.
The more positive energy and kindness you give, generally the more good stuff comes back your way. Such a simple principle and it is strange that some people just don't get it.
But why the vitriol? Smacks of trolling to me...