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What is Reddit? A beginner’s guide to using the front page of the internet

It doesn’t matter if you’re a tech-savvy internet warrior or an occasional web researcher, chances are, if you’ve searched the web for answers for any particular topic, you’ve most likely stumbled upon this website called Reddit.

It’s not just the place where viral content is born. It’s also a venue where questions are answered, debates are waged, and community knowledge is shared. This website is where the internet hive mind is in full force and where unexpected and mind-blowing content constantly flows.

And if you’re thinking that Reddit is an exclusive insider club where only the worthy can post and participate, well, think again.

It’s open for everyone!

In fact, it’s such a valuable resource that I recommend that you sign up for your very own Reddit account. Read on and I’ll show you how.

Reddit – the front page of the internet

Reddit is the self-described “front page of the internet.” It’s a huge internet community where tons of internet content is constantly shared, commented on and upvoted. With millions of users called “Redditors,” any popular post in Reddit can quickly snowball into the next internet phenomenon.

How popular is Reddit? As of February of this year, Reddit had 542 million monthly visitors, making it the fourth most visited website in the U.S.

That latest viral video, meme or story you just saw? It probably was first shared in Reddit, upvoted and shared by thousands of “Redditors,” picked up by news outlets and then spread around the web organically from there.

But that’s not just what Reddit is for. It’s also a good platform for opinion, conversations, debates, tips and advice. Redditors can also submit questions and the robust Reddit community will typically reply.

With its categories, topics and specific communities, called subreddits, Reddit is a great resource for essentially anything under the sun. From niche subjects to pop culture to tech, there’s always a subreddit that will cater to your tastes.

Ready to Reddit? Read on and I’ll show you how to sign up so you can start sharing and voting for content.

How to sign up

Although an account is not necessary to browse Reddit’s most popular content, I recommend that you sign up to get the most out of your Reddit experience.

This way, instead of being a “lurker,” you will be an official full-fledged Redditor. With an account, you can be a valuable contributor to the Reddit community by voting for content, by leaving comments, by subscribing to specific subreddits and by sharing links, images or text.

Signing up for Reddit is very simple:

1. First, head on to Reddit’s main page, then click on “sign up” in the upper right corner.

2. Enter your email address in the provided field. Click “NEXT.”

3. Choose your areas of interest. These will be the “subreddits” you’ll be subscribed to. Note: You will be automatically subscribed to the most popular subreddits.) Click “NEXT.

4. Choose a username and set a password, then click “SUBMIT.” And that’s it. You’re in!

Navigating Reddit

Navigating Reddit can be confusing for the beginner but you’ll get the hang of it no time. Reddit’s design is minimal, harking back to the early days of the web. When you land on its main page, you’ll be greeted with what looks like an endless message board. Protip: Reddit’s new design is easier to navigate.

Typically, Reddit’s front page features the most popular posts at any given time. These posts originate from the biggest categories (subreddits) on the site.  You can also sort the front page and see new, trending, and the most controversial posts.

To see where a particular post leads to – it could be a link to an article, a video, an image, etc. – just click on it. However, for most people, the best thing about Reddit is the comments section. If you find an interesting post, make sure you take your time scrolling through and reading the comments.

Reddit comments are a valuable resource themselves and they almost always give you further insight on a particular topic. If you want to be an upstanding member of the Reddit community, you can join the discussions by leaving your own comments and by voting on them, too.

Now here’s where a Reddit account can also come in handy. Beyond the front page posts, you can also customize your front page by subscribing to your own subreddits. If you have specific interests and hobbies, just type in a keyword in Reddit’s search bar to look for relevant subreddits you can subscribe to. (You can also unsubscribe anytime.)

At any time, you can see and navigate to all your subreddit subscriptions on the top menu bar (old design) or on the left menu pane (new design).

Voting in Reddit

Now that you have a Reddit account and relevant subreddits you’re subscribed to, you can start posting content, leave comments and upvote/downvote other posts and comments.

Voting for an article or comment is easy. On every article or comment are up and down arrows. Simply click the up arrow to upvote and the down arrow to downvote.

This is how Reddit’s front page content is decided. If an article gets enough upvotes, it has a good chance of hitting the front page, amplifying its reach even further. Think of Reddit upvotes as similar to Facebook likes.

Reddit Karma

While you’re at it, you can start accumulating “karma points.” Although these points won’t win you any awards, they are good indicators of how active and valuable you are on Reddit.

There are two types of Reddit Karma – link karma and comment karma. Whenever someone upvotes a link or a comment you shared, you gain a karma point. Conversely, whenever your shared links or comment is downvoted, you lose a karma point.

Image Credit: Reddit

These votes are then tabulated and the total is displayed on your profile as your “Karma score.”

Active Redditors use this score as a motivation to contribute tons of quality content that people will like and leave relevant comments on other posts, as well. The karma score, meaningless as it can be, is actually a tool that keeps Reddit activity going.

How to share on Reddit

Once you get the hang of navigating Reddit, you’re probably ready to share your own posts. It can be anything – an article you find relevant and interesting, an image or a video that you want everyone to see or even a simple text post.

To start sharing, click the “Create Post” button on the right-hand pane of your Reddit front page.

1. Sharing an article

To share an article, simply click on the link tab on the “Create a post” page then paste the web address or URL of the article you wish to share.

For example, if you find an article on Komando.com that’s worth sharing, just choose an appropriate community (subreddit), copy the article’s address, paste it into the box then hit “POST.”

Our cybersecurity articles, tips, and tech advice are good candidates for posting on Reddit so make sure you post anything that may catch your eye.


 2. Sharing an image or a video

Sharing an image or picture on Reddit follows similar steps. Click on the Image and Video tab, then simply drag and drop your file (or browse for it via the Upload button). Select your community (subreddit), type in a title then click “POST.” Note: Certain subreddits don’t allow images or videos.

3. Sharing a post

Lastly, you can customize your own post and add links, images, and text (similar to a blog or a Facebook post.) Just click Post and you’ll see the familiar visual web post editor. As usual, just click “POST” when you’re done!

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