Andrew: Have you ever regretted selling when you did instead of holding on for a little bit longer?
Steve: A little bit longer, no. Also, when we sold it was the fall of 2006, right before the economy totally tanked. And so, if we had held on a little longer, I think we would have had dark days ahead. If we could have seen the whole future that in four years things would recover and Reddit would be huge and traffic would be great, yeah, I wish I still owned Reddit now and owned it for the last four or five years.
For everything to have gone right for us, to have the stomach to survive that economy, I mean, who knows, like Conde Nast’s umbrella helped us during that economy. We could still hire and pay market salaries when a lot of people couldn’t. So, maybe we wouldn’t have even survived. It’s hard to say.
Affluance level relative to US internet: 114/100
"There is a high index of Graduates and Post Graduates here."
31% household income > 100K
31% Household income > 75K
Bachelor's degree or more: 53%
Yeah this demographic is so unappealing.
The idea of those two separate was that while they both contradict each other, they both prove the premiumness of reddit demographic.
> First, reddit’s own admins have called out these statistics as inaccurate
You gave an unsubstantiated claim that Reddit demographic is
unattractive to advertisers, which are proven to be wrong by two most widely used site demographic markers. Showing two links which are hate speech, racism or worse etc don't prove that the demographic is not advertising friendly.
> I know reddit likes to think of itself as a community of intellectuals and sophisticates ...
Reddit doesn't need to be intellectual to command premium rates. If > 30% of its audience makes > 75K/yr, it has premium ad inventory. Have you seen Icanhascheeseburger's ad rates? :)
I would just add that reddit’s difficulties selling its ad space—they’ve had to resort to serving Flash games and pretty pictures just to fill the advertising frame, though they spin this e.g. “Instead of an ad, here’s a flower/Just our way of saying thanks”—speak volumes about reddit’s ability to appeal to sponsors of the sort sought by Condé Nast.
What MS responded with was crappy marketing speak, which would have worked on 'normal' people. Normal people would have swallowed it up. But Reddit did not - ie they are hard to monetize.
Opera did an IAmA, had ten engineers answering every question in a very informative manner, and I feel that they got a million times better publicity than Microsoft ever did.
It's not about 'fooling' people though. It's about people being overly skeptical, assuming everything is a scam, assuming conspiracy theories, ulterior motives.
I'm simply saying that the Reddit userbase is untrusting and not an easily monetizable demographic.
If Quantcast said Reddit was mainly Conservative would you believe it?
The community is heavily liberal anti consumerism pro drugs pro adblock college kids.
Whitelisting Reddit doesn't magically make them a better demographic.
Marketing done carefully on such sites can lead to a much more effective turnover if it identifies with the group it's targeting. A few good examples are the beef jerky company and the Reddit soap rescue done about 12 months ago. Forgotten both their names but can do a search if need be :-)
If you are trying to sell ram to me as a retailer, paying money to reach me is probably going to kill any margin you would get from my purchase... to sell me ram you need to be the lowest price of a particular set of brands that I can find. Getting yourself on google shopping would probably be cheaper, and it would be just as effective (maybe more effective... I assume that when I click thorough a paid add, I expect to pay a premium on the other end to pay for the cost of that click through.)
Now, if you are trying to sell ram to someone who, say, doesn't know that google shopping exists, then maybe you can charge more than google shopping and then pay money for an ad to reach that customer.
So, in general, less-savvy consumers who don't understand how to effectively price shop are far more valuable to advertisers. And reddit users usually don't fall into that 'less savvy' bucket.
Now, this is true for the majority of retailers... people who are trying to sell commodity products.
If, on the other hand, you are trying to build a brand, and you can get your add to somehow imply that you are supporting reddit, or you are part of the reddit community (and there is room for that... by buying advertising space, you are supporting reddit, even though you have selfish motives in doing so.) you can effectively leverage that to build your brand amongst those more savvy users (and more savvy users tend to have control of more resources, over time, simply because savvy users generally make better decisions.)
So yeah... if you are trying to sell ram to me as a retailer, ads are probably not going to help you. But if you are a ram manufacturer or a ram "brand" (like kingston) and you are trying to put yourself on my list of 'acceptable quality' ram vendors, then advertising on reddit could possibly help you.
The advertisers definition of 'too smart' being: unlikely to be persuaded by advertising, would comparison shop on the internet, and lacked strong brand loyalty.
I think Reddit is in much the same category, add to this that all ads can be 'Reddited' (commented and voted on by the community) and I imagine many brands are terrified of advertising on their as they'd at a minimum have to assign someone to respond to comments and worst case it would turn into a debacle ala Microsoft's IE9 advertising on Reddit (where the PR team answering questions was openly derided as being flaks and doing nothing but answering technical questions with blathering marketing speak).
Having witnessed many cases where redditors attacked, I would never consider advertising there. I can only imagine most of their advertisers advertise once and never again.
As I say though, volunteering to view ads doesn't make them a better more marketable demographic - Anti-consumerism Liberal College kids mainly.
It would require some hardware and development investment, but I think a strategy like this could pay off immensely. Better yet, it wouldn't run afoul of the users as a) no personal information would be given to advertisers, and b) they would be seeing more relevant ads.
We figure we can get at least 8 people in there!
It's plainly obvious that the reddit guys are overworked (that was half point of reddit gold - they needed to hire more people but CN wouldn't authorize the expenditure), so "market salaries" for their job title wouldn't be the same as market salaries for their responsibilities.
We're not in it for the money, because the money isn't that great. Conde is a private company with no stock either.
And yes, the warm fuzzies I get when see the reddit community do something awesome are what keep me coming back day after day. Knowing that in some small way, I helped facilitate that awesomeness.
The community is the loveliest on the internet, but also extremely self-conscious and suspicious of change, much less one dictated from the top. Whoever owns reddit will have to foot the development, support and hosting fees, while remaining subservient to a moody and very sophisticated user-base.
Better cash out and be a community hero.
I hope you're being sarcastic. reddit's been a sordid mix of conspiracy theorists, political extremists, and 4chan users for the last year or two.
Let me say that I have only yesterday signed up to reddit, for the first time, under my own name. And that I would happily go elsewhere for intelligent feedback. But if I was wronged by a bigger adversary (government, business, etc.) Reddit would be the first place to air my grievance.
Even in their most sordid humor, they're both clever and humane. I just get the feeling they're nice people. People post pictures of their kids, their pets, their hand-drawings, hobbies, even their own private parts (if you know where to look.) I think Reddit covers the whole spectrum of the human experience .. if all humans were charitable, fairly well educated, suburbanite, closet-Marxists with short attention span (which I emphatically identify with :-)
Even isolated within subreddits, it's hard to get someone who is at odds with the ideas of most of reddit's userbase to visit a friendly subreddit when they visit the main page and see a bunch of f-bombs, nsfw links, militant atheist and liberal content, etc. My parents, for instance, would be offended by something on the main page at almost any time you captured it. Things are better now that /r/atheism is off the front page, but it's still not good.
Reddit changes its logo site-wide to celebrate same-sex marriage victories. Any time the Salvation Army is mentioned on reddit 100 redditors jump to write about how the Salvation Army opposes pornography so nobody should ever donate to them. And so on.
That's true of HN too, though, just in different political directions. There's a lot of polemical stuff that makes the front page, and especially a lot of fluff libertarian-partisan stuff, e.g. http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1795577 . The comments often have a lot of militant-libertarian stuff too if the topic is politics/economics.
As someone who doesn't much like hardline socialism or hardline libertarianism, I don't really find reddit that much worse on this subject, especially considering its larger size. Mostly it's just skewed in the opposite direction.
Also, I think on HN a story called "Socialism saved the miners" could have been front-paged and had a similar discussion. On reddit, if you post something that doesn't fit with their preconceptions against religion, capitalism, etc., all you can hope for is < -100 karma.
That and the porno thing are way more about age than ideology. Old democrats are against same-sex marriage and young republicans are more likely to be for it than most other deviations from the party line. Look at a graph of opinion on that issue over age sometime.
I suppose ideology is in there a little as far as secularism (!= atheism), but hey, it's the internet.
And redditors will definitely treat you that way. They usually don't care if your objection is well-reasoned or articulately expressed, they just instantly destroy anything vaguely pro-religion, pro-life, pro-traditional-marriage, etc.
Only amongst those opposed to gay marriage. It is very much a human-rights issue for everyone I know, particularly those who are gay. As for the decisions reddit takes as a site (not the community), they are generally both popular with the community and the admins. Take, for example, the stance they took on running pro-prop 19 ads, or their decision not to run anti-gay marriage ads. The first was genuinely political, but it was also popular. The second was a matter of principle.
Everyone who has been on reddit for a while knows to unsubscribe from /r/politics, /r/atheism and maybe /r/worldnews.
The attitude prevails throughout almost every popular reddit.
Of course, it's not necessarily bad to have these come up sometimes. It's just the amazing frequency with which they do, the universally supportive attitude of reddit, and their extreme desire to lynch and denigrate anyone who violates their universal support.
Hell, I remember a pedophile who recognised that his tendencies were harmful to children and had vowed never to act on them. Given that he can't change his condition, I think that was a brave and mature thing to do. While I obviously don't support pedophilia, I think that realizing that your desires can cause harm and restraining yourself from them is not something to condemn.
Apart from that, I find that it's really valuable to try and see things from someone's viewpoint, no matter who that person is. There have been many people doing IAmAs, and I find that critically deciding whether this person is someone to support or to condemn was eye-opening. Can you elaborate on why you find the community's support a bad thing?
reddit is extremely antagonistic toward people who they consider unenlightened. There is a culture of incivility. It's not a numbers game -- it doesn't matter for instance that a larger portion of reddit is irreligious than religious -- it's just a matter of human decency, courtesy, open-mindedness and humility, which are almost non-existent on reddit.
In fact, I remember a recent post by a theologian, it had hundreds of comments and everyone (including the poster) loved it, it was very civilized and informative.
Can we raise the dixie flag of /r/circlejerk and rabble rouse for states rights to stupidity?
"better" is relative. To me, HN is one of the "better" communities. Reddit is comprised of 1% people that are actually smart, 20% kooks, 15% political nutjobs, and the rest are early 20-something pseudo-intellectuals that feel that anything against the US, religion, or corporations makes them more intelligent and witty in the eyes of the world. I also get the feeling that people there have very little experience beyond a keyboard in their parent's house.
When I look at any HN article, most of the comments are sane, well-articulated, and thought-out. It's quite refreshing, actually.
Reddit to communities is what Craigslist is for dating.
Both communities serve their purpose. HN is nice in that it is specifically not trying to be big. It seems that Paul Graham is trying quite hard to avoid an Eternal September-type scenario arising from the dilution of the community as it exists now. That's great, and I respect that. The flip side of that, however, is a lack of dynamism.
There's nothing unique about either site. I find the comments on HN to be generally more knowledgeable than those on r/technology, slightly better than r/programming, and about the same as r/netsec. When you get down to the smaller subreddits, the idiocy usually goes away.
>Reddit is comprised of 1% people that are actually smart, 20% kooks, 15% political nutjobs
I'll give you the last two, but I'd say you're off by an order of magnitude on the first one. That's a generalization of the site as a whole, mind you. Your figure might be entirely accurate for, say, r/pics.
>and the rest are early 20-something pseudo-intellectuals that feel that anything against the US, religion, or corporations makes them more intelligent and witty in the eyes of the world.
Again, depends on the subreddit. On r/politics, I'd say you're probably right. Many other subreddits would defy that description.
As I said before, r/tehcnology is hit and miss, but the smaller tech subreddits are good. I personally frequent r/netsec, and I often find good links and discussion at r/python, r/linux, and other tech subreddits.
You may find this article: http://www.amerika.org/technology/the-entropy-of-reddit/ vocalizes many of your issues with reddit. I don't agree with the author on everything, but some of his points are valid.
My figure is from every subreddit on the front page (without adding any of the specific ones you can add yourself). I could find conservative/republican subreddits, but that wouldn't represent the community as a whole either.
It's pretty obvious even from the link titles users have posted.
"As I said before, r/tehcnology is hit and miss, but the smaller tech subreddits are good. I personally frequent r/netsec, and I often find good links and discussion at r/python, r/linux, and other tech subreddits."
This also doesn't represent the community as a whole. These are small subreddits.
It's easy to classify the big subreddits as "Reddit", but that's just not the case. The "community as a whole" is an ephemeral thing. You can't really judge it by the tone on some of the, admittedly larger, subreddits.
Seriously, you say how much better the community at HN is, but you dismiss the subreddits I mentioned, many of which have more users than HN. HN itself was originally supposed to be a subreddit, but the admins wouldn't give Paul what he wanted. Reddit itself is more of an umbrella than a group.
Once you discover the object of your irrational affection, try to sympathize with those irrationally at odds with it (i.e. haters, detractors, bashers, the Other fanboy, etc.)
Seriously, there's a disproportionate amount of irrational pro-Apple and -Microsoft posts here on HN that get upvotes.
Facebook is an interesting take on this by effectively blocking you from hearing much from people you don't wish to hear from.
What I've been impressed with on many occasions is the community keeping in check the over-the-top commentators who are just being douches, regardless of which side of the debate they are on. The community really does moderate itself quite well considering its size.
If you hang out in r/wtf or some such, you kinda get what you would expect, but select your subreddits well and you can be part of some pretty interesting discussions and occasionally learn some really cool things. Reddit ftw in my opinion.
It might have changed post Gold, but I'm not so sure about that.
Since then afaik they've added more servers.
> "but they did make enough to stay afloat"
I think Reddit has been operating at a loss for quite some time.
Let's say their CTR is 0.1%. That's 300k clicks/month. I'm building in some wiggle-room here, as a 0.1% CTR is abysmal, but often their ads aren't really ads. Even at $0.01/click, that's still $30k/month. More than enough for hosting. Now, I'd hazard a guess that most of my numbers are quite a bit on the low side, as reddit has operated for years without CN shutting the doors. Also, from what the admins have intimated from time to time, they make money, but not enough to register on CN's radar.
I wouldn't discount their ad sales; traffic like that carries a lot of weight.
I'm going to post this every time I see a misconception like this (and I really don't care if I get downvoted, it's more important to get the truth out).
Reddit is one of the biggest anti-semitic hate sites on the 'net.
One of many examples: http://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/ccnir/im_gonna_get...
Maybe one could claim that gay jokes aren't there because they aren't considered "most offensive" to start with but I really doubt it. I think it's just a code for "let's make racist jokes".
Here's a Google Doc with the transcript: http://bit.ly/9gRoGl
There are entrepreneurs that are great at creating startups, but beyond that they are horrible. There are countless stories of founders who dont know how to lead companies pass certain points and refuse to hire anyone else, watching their business fail.
I want to give some negative feedback too: I read the transcript this time instead of watching. (1). It was a little slow to start, so I skimmed a bit near the beginning, but it quickly got interesting (I don't know how to fix this - I do the same thing with many great theatlantic articles). (2). One reason I read the transcript was that I do feel a little uncomfortable with the probing questions - but that's also what I value most. (so again I can't offer a solution). (3). Another reason to not watch the video is that I feel really uncomfortable when you look away from the guest while they are talking (while eg. googling something) - it feels really rude (even though I know it's not). And for this one, I have a solution to suggest! I think it's really demanding on you to maintain eye-contact throughout a long interview, and TV interviewers don't need to do this, because it's edited to cut between the interviewer and guest. So it's your format, of showing both heads, that creates this problem. So a simple solution is to just cut to the guest when you google or otherwise need to look away (assuming your video software has a hotkey for that).
Anyway, the ratio of my negative vs. positive comment length doesn't reflect my opinion, which was that this was another excellent interview - thanks very much!
He talked about his experiences in founding Reddit, when their original idea was turned down by YC.
I think his interview technique is very polished and this interview was incredibly watchable.
Anyone concerned about the "context" of the quote should also note: he explicitly asks what headline to give the interview in order to "game reddit" and increase hits - I think he did pretty well, don't you?
Is Conde Nast the right place for Reddit?
If it weren't for the link at the bottom of the page, outsiders wouldn't even know that reddit is owned by Conde. I say, they definitely deserve some kudos.