Marketwired Blog

Reddit’s On A Major Roll

There are plenty of news aggregators out there but perhaps one of the most dynamic and under-appreciated is Reddit.

Reddit? Yes, Reddit.

Long seen as Digg’s little cousin, Reddit is on a major roll while Digg trundles its way toward irrelevance.

The question is why has Reddit surged ahead while Digg has stumbled. In an interesting article, Slate’s Farhan Manjoo suggests it’s the enthusiastic and engaged nature of “a real and vibrant” community, particularly its willingness to get involved in political issues such as SOPA.

Manjoo also contends Reddit has thrived because it has become more than a service that just aggregates links from external sites.

What’s particularly interesting about Reddit is how it has thrived within the corporate bosom of Conde Nast, which acquired Reddit in 2006. It is rare to see a startup get stronger and bigger after becoming part of a big empire. In many cases, a startup flounders because its energy and entrepreneurial culture evaporates within the corporate confines.

Maybe Conde Nast’s best decision was allowing Reddit to maintain its uniqueness and separate identity rather than trying to make it part of the fold. Yes, Reddit has had a redesign but it’s still pretty similar to what it was when Conde Nast acquired it.

As important, Reddit’s community has been allowed to participate, operate and be an active part of Reddit’s progression, which is pretty impressive given Reddit is part of a large and established media empire. It’s like Reddit has the best of both worlds: it has the backing of a large company but the culture and community of a startup.

As for why Reddit has rolled and Digg has lost its mojo, it’s hard to tell. Maybe Digg made some strategic mistakes that alienated users. Maybe the market shifted on Digg as social media gained more traction.

At the very least, Digg vs. Reddit would make for a fascinating case study or even a PhD thesis on the tale of two aggregators.

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