Posted by Frank - Follow me on Twitter

For those of you who enjoy an alternative to social networking like Reddit, I’m sure you probably think it’s an awesome site for finding new and interesting information. While that may be true, I’m here to give you 7 reasons as to why you shouldn’t focus your social networking efforts towards Reddit as it will be a complete waste of your time.

1. It’s A Cluster Fuck – Pardon the language, but it’s necessary here. First off, there’s way to much going on with this site. While back in the day it could serve more of a benefit, the amount of CRAP submitted gives you very little to zero chance of you getting recognition for something valuable that you submit.

2. It’s A Closed Community – While anyone can join, they have rules out the ass in every subreddit for the most part in regards to what you can and can’t submit. By the time you find where you’re content should go, you’ll become more frustrated rather than wanting to participate like most social sites encourage.

3.Play By My Rules, Or Get Out – This should really be their tagline. Besides having links for reddiquette, rules, and their FAQ, you’re restricted by not only how often you can post, but how often you can leave comments. I’ve seen many posts about how this drives people insane. You need to increase your Karma to post and comment more. That would be like Twitter restricting how often you can post a tweet. There’s a reason that this site is filled with a young crowd and doesn’t really see any predominant social media “power” users on the site.

4. Photo Nonsense – If you don’t plan on “photo bombing” the website, than Reddit is not going to be the place for you. Photos (funny and serious) seem to be the lead content submissions on the site. That can get really old after a while and wouldn’t you like to go on the site and find something valuable?

5. You’re Being Watched – While I believe it’s a good thing for a community to have moderators and make sure we’re keeping the spammers out, Reddit moderators will jump on you in a heart beat for submitting too many things to your own work. If you’re providing something useful, it’s not spam, especially if you’re not doing it to make a profit off people. I once submitted two links to my own work and a Reddit moderator reported it and provided me with no reasoning when I questioned it.

6. The Design Sucks – When you try to decide whether or not a new social media service is going to be right for you, I’m sure you usually take note of the design. Everyone typically does. If it’s too cluttered and busy, why would you want to stick around. Reddit is not inviting in the slightest, it’s overwhelming and I don’t know where to start. Not to mention, it took me a while to figure out how to find subreddits. For me, that’s a bad user experience.

7. Smaller Subreddits Don’t Matter – If you think that you could leverage the smaller subreddits to maybe get feedback on a graphic you created, most likely it will go unnoticed regardless of how long it sits in the “new” section. You really have to pray and hope that if you submit something that it gets recognized in one of the main reddits where ACTIVE users are.

While Reddit has been known to drive a lot of traffic and attention for some, many people struggle with finding the best ways to use the site. I say don’t waste your time. It’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack and most of the time, your content becomes buried in the haystack. You’d be much better off trying to focus your efforts with sites like Twitter or Facebook.

If you do use Reddit, tell me why. If you’ve had success with it, I’d like to know. This post isn’t meant to be a rant even though I did curse a little. Rather, it’s my passion for social media and me wanting to help prevent you from wasting your time on a social network that isn’t going to provide you with a long term benefit like some of the better sites will.

  • Yishan
    • It’s not often that the CEO of a company, nonetheless the one I write about comments on a blog post. Regardless, I do appreciate you sharing the post on Reddit. If you notice though, it hasn’t received much attention. That’s the nature of the beast.

  • Ben

    Reddit is great. So long as you subscribe to subreddits that don’t blow and understand how to post material, virtually every one of your points against it is nullified. Your point about photos is only true in the stupider subreddits that you should unsubscribe to immediately. And if people were spamming twitter with shit, I’d love it if there was a restriction on how often people could tweet. This isn’t the case as it’s an entirely different site about the individual instead of sharing valuable information. On a slightly related note, some mods are assholes, but for the most part they’re there to help the community and do just that. I personally have never seen anything taken down for a bad reason (I do tend to stay away from the more clusterfuck subreddits though). And it’s generally frowned upon to support your own products- it’s cheap and not what reddit is about.

    I’ll concede that the design of Reddit is pretty miserable, but chrome extensions fix that pretty easily. Also, the reddit app for android is near-perfectly designed. You should try it (I don’t know if it’s on the Apple store).

    Also, as a digression, edit your post for then/than errors.

    • Thanks for providing your insight and a different perspective on Reddit from my own, Ben. I do think it’s a good idea to stay away from the crowded subreddits as well, but I still believe everyone needs an equal opportunity for their submitted content to be seen. I still don’t believe Reddit has been able to master this concept yet and as mentioned in the post, a lot of that is usability and has to do with a poor design. I never thought to use a chrome extension to fix that issue. What Chrome extensions have you used to combat this issue?

  • /u/YM_Industries

    The real waste of time around here was you writing this article. Alright, you don’t get Reddit, you don’t see the point, you don’t like it. That’s cool, you’re allowed an opinion.

    What I don’t get is why you assume that your opinion is correct. Obviously there is some point in Reddit otherwise it wouldn’t have such a decent userbase. Yeah, it might be smaller than Facebook or Twitter, but they all have their uses.

    1) Lot’s of users, lot’s of content. The only way around this is to split the userbase into categories, which Reddit does through subreddits. Yeah, your link might not get a huge amount of impressions but they will be highly targeted impressions.

    2) The rules are the choice of the subreddit owners. Reddiquette is just a set of guidelines and the only times the Reddit staff step in are when something really morally questionable or illegal happens. Facebook and Twitter have the same policy.

    3) The speed limits on the site are due to Reddit having very limited financial resources. Reddit doesn’t have that much money because they have a really good anti-intrusive-ads policy and they are determined to keep their users data private. The restrictions on new users are there because Reddit is a popular target for spambots.

    4) If you don’t want to see photos, don’t subscribe to photo based subreddits. /r/pics and /r/funny are both default subscriptions, but you may prefer /r/truereddit, /r/news, /r/worldnews, /r/realtech, /r/technology, /r/games, etc… These subreddits primarily have articles and discussions rather than images. There are plenty of these types of subreddits. The reason images are popular in the defaults is because they don’t require as much time to process and so they are easier to upvote.

    5) Again, this depends on the subreddit. Several subreddits are known to have badmins. (Bad admins) It takes a while to work out the good places on Reddit. I personally spent months on the default subreddits before I started to find some good obscure ones through comment threads.

    6) Yes, Reddit has a terrible interface. This is largely to spare resources I believe. One word I wouldn’t use to describe Reddit’s interface is cluttered though. Maybe if you’re using a 1024×768 screen it would be, but it looks fine on a 1920×1080 and fantastic on a 2560×1440. Especially once you’ve got RES and other enhancement plugins.

    7) You may have only had experience with dead subreddits. I’m subscribed to a lot of very lively small subreddits and they are great.

    Basically, I feel that you don’t really understand the social network that you are writing such a negative piece on, and I feel that you should’ve write authoritatively about something you don’t understand.

    • You’re allowed to have your opinion as well. I’ve tried finding smaller subreddits that I could potentially like, but it just didn’t work out for me. Ultimately, in the grand scheme of things, Reddit is just not for me. Personally, I prefer Digg as it is now after having been acquired. You are correct that I don’t really understand Reddit as a social network as it doesn’t deliver any value to me. However, I do know that it delivers value to many other people, but in my opinion it’s a “time killing” website rather than something that I feel can bring the engagement I’m looking for. Twitter and Facebook are still my social networks of choice.

      I appreciate you sharing your insight on Reddit as it’s good to get another opinion from a user of the site that has found it valuable.

      As someone who’s used the site frequently, what’s the best way to find useful subreddits and one’s where people are engaging with each other? I’m always willing to give the site a second chance.

    • Hey Man

      So basically you’re angry because he insulted your precious reddit and because you have a large chunk of your self worth tied up in the things you like (reddit, etc…) you’re taking the authors article as a personal assault on your self esteem. Got it 😉

  • Tomboy Tarts

    I have to agree. It hasn’t worked for us as well as Twitter. Even FB is losing its edge as a marketing tool for our website and comedy podcast.

    • Twitter is my favorite tool to use as well. With Facebook not being the best solution for you guys, what else besides Twitter have you focused on using?

  • acoustic freeups
  • Hear hear! Reddit is like being trapped in an iron maze. There’s not even any green leaves for a breeze to flutter through.

    • Well said! I don’t even waste my time with that site. It’s definitely interesting to see that a decent number of other people feel the same way I do.