Community Culture of Social News Sites

As I peruse Reddit and Digg this evening, procrastinating the studying for my Art History exam tomorrow, I noticed some distinct differences about the “culture” surrounding each website that I think would be helpful to point out to the rest of the class.

Digg features a story submitted 21 hours and 6 minutes ago, but the comments range from 3 hours and 20 minutes to 2 hours and 29 minutes. There are 7 comments total out of the 2,138 people who viewed it.

However, on Reddit, a similar story with the same time frame of 3 hours accumulated 569 comments, although you cannot tell how many views it’s had.

I think this illustrates an important point about the uses of each website; the communities surrounding each site are very different in demographics, intent, and customary practices.

While Digg users have a ratio of almost 1:1 men to women, they are much younger and much wealthier than the average Reddit user, who is almost always male, late twenties to early forties, with a middle range income. For these reasons, in addition to the layout of the site, users treat the websites differently, and log on for different reasons. The Reddit community is tight-knit and leaves short witty comments on various stories. Digg users are more distant and browse a few stories; when they comment, they tend to be longer, more thought out messages.

I’d like to leave you with a screen shot of the Reddit page last night around midnight. It shows user “seriouslydave” commenting on another comment containing the words “seriously Dave.” He posted the joke and others knew he was probably excited about it, so they said so. The third user decides to log off, but comments on the comment to say he or she likes the jokes by saying “well done… good night.” I think this string of comments really portrays the environment of Reddit. 

Community Culture

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