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  • spaceghoti
    +16

    Except they're not going to lose all the content providers. They're going to lose some of them, yes, but not enough that they'll care. I've seen this happen before on reddit several times, sometimes because of a problem with the overall site and sometimes just with specific subs. A small but dedicated group of content providers would leave and the rest would pick up the slack. The people in charge -- moderators and admins alike -- just ignored the ones who left.

    • bogdan
      +21

      I don't doubt that even the people who left will not make a dent in Reddit's activity; but her statement is completely ignorant of the fact that some users provide more value than others. She just treats them all as a whole, further proving that she lacks the basic knowledge as to how the cogs that make her site run work.

      • ilia
        +14

        All users are valuable, but some are more valuable than others.

      • spaceghoti
        +8

        Reddit is a business driven by ad revenue and to a lesser extent user donations. If the activity doesn't drop appreciably then they really won't notice. Focus will shift to safer, less controversial subreddits like /r/catpictures and /r/earthporn. The character of reddit will change but that won't prompt any soul searching as long as the revenue keeps up.

        • bogdan
          +15

          This is the reason why I'm glad that I left. Years back it was a place created by people who wanted to share ideas, where the principle of getting along.

          I actually went back and searched for an example of the past: https://www.reddit.com/comments/bexqj/

          Look at the complains from the users and the admin response. Would you see this happening now?

          Of course not, because the emphasis has become, as you say, on the fact that "Reddit is a business". I'm not saying it's not natural to have money-making in mind, but leaving the user behind for monetary gain deserves to be punished.

          • blue2501
            +4

            I have this feeling that they have almost as many sysadmins and programmers with the same amount of budget, but more of their profit is getting greedily absorbed by their shareholders. Because why bother spending more money on infrastructure and customer support when you can just pocket all of that fat cash?

          • smackababy
            +1
            @blue2501 -

            As far as I know, reddit's never really been that profitable, and in fact has been operating at a loss for several years... see this article from 2013 as an example. Also, it's a private company, so in order to have shareholders to be beholden to profit-wise they'd have to go public first, which also means that they'd have to have proof that they can be profitable... which is quite likely why Pao was brought in. That said, they do have a board of directors, but it's pretty much just Alexis Ohanian and maybe one other dude.

        • uncrtv
          +6

          Not to mention there are highly niche subreddits that don't care about all the drama. Those people will probably stay and be business as usual.

          • Katherine
            +5

            I dunno -- I moderated (moderate?) two highly niche subreddits (one had about 15k subscribers, the other 7.5k), and while I wasn't that put off by the drama, it gets to the point where "community" is just more valuable. Have I left Reddit permanently? Not by any means, but I've vastly reduced my usage of the site. We've been seeing a little less activity in those "niche" subs, too.

      • verdacomb
        +4

        If anything, those who stay behind will slowly see a drop in content 'quality,' while the 'quantity' of reposts and less engaging content will increase.

      • HazMat68W
        +4

        The loss of support, I think, will be gradual rather than sudden. This is just the beginning of unrest within the community. Is it a huge deal, in a real-world perspective? No. But within Reddit, people will fall away and move on.

      • onetrickponey
        +4

        this! They'll probably become what they hated the most, some buzzfeed or 9gag replicator.

      • imnotgoats (edited 4 years ago)
        +3

        I don't think this is the end for reddit, but it is one of many events which will dent its content aggregation monopoly. After the fatpeoplehate rigmarole and then this recent event, a large number of users who wouldn't have previously looked elsewhere are finding alternatives.

        The number isn't high enough to destroy reddit and a lot of users aren't strictly moving per se, but signing up to other similar sites alongside reddit for the first time. As reddit hits more small bumps in the road (which is likely over time) I think the playing field will become wider and reddit will be seen more as 'one of the front pages of the internet'.

        • smackababy
          +4

          Yeah, it's going to take a long while before reddit actually dies - heck, some people still use AOL and Myspace. But, like how Facebook is starting to phase out in favor of Snapchat / Twitter / Instagram / Tumblr / etc, eventually the formerly invincible content aggregator juggernaut that is reddit will give way to whatever random content aggregator(s) next reach a critical mass of users.

    • Sobato
      +8

      But in this case, the moderators are also part of that small but dedicated group of people. And if they pack up & leave, that can spell big trouble for Reddit, since they do a monumental amount of work for the website.

      • spaceghoti
        +3

        Not unless in doing they can make a significant impact in the revenue coming into the site. See my other comment here. Frankly, I see the exodus of the semi-professional moderators of reddit as a good thing for the site. I would like to see the users regain some of their power within their own communities.

        • exikon
          +4

          It might be beneficial for some subs. A lot of subs would suffer though. Foremost Iama I guess because with nobody organising amas from people that are not redditors it's going to be pretty hard. That will make a dent as amas are one if not the biggest magnet for new users. Other subs would have problems too, mainly those that are heavily moderated such as /r/science or /r/askhistorians (although I doubt they will leave).

        • Yossarian
          +3

          I think it's something that could go either way. Getting some fresh new "power moderators" (ones moderating the major defaults) has the potential to swing reddit for better or worse. Some subreddits require a lot of work for mods, and many have been doing it for years. I suppose over time new mods would adjust.

          There are also many communities that are moderated by users who seem to have no interest whatsoever in the subject matter of the subreddit. So actually interested users gaining control could be beneficial to them.

      • PrismDragon
        +2

        Yeah. Their management of subs (especially the default ones) is crucial for keeping people (lurkers and content providers) engaged in the communities. If they leave in droves, Reddit's going to face an upward battle of having to replace these lest their risk harming their profit margins.

        • smackababy
          +4

          Yeah, I think people underestimate just how important good moderators are. Not only do enforce the rules of the board, they're really instrumental in creating and maintaining a community... that's why I'm wary of Voat's focus on minimal moderation, in my experience that laissez faire mentality just ends up creating worse communities.

          • PrismDragon
            +1

            I thought Voat's goal was hands-off administration (barring illegal material of course). Moderation levels of the various subverses is up the individual mods to decide.

          • smackababy
            +3
            @PrismDragon -

            Oh, my mistake, I wasn't aware of that. I was under the impression that their 'no censorship' stance extended to lighter or nonexistent moderation as well.

      • double2
        +1

        I'll be interested to see if there are any entire community migrations from reddit to other competitor sites. I wouldn't have thought that would be a breach of Ts&Cs. I can imagine mods telling their community they're moving to snapzu and to use an affiliate link to sign up. It'll be interesting to see what happens when the invite system is dropped.

    • i208khonsu
      +7

      I think you're underestimating the backlash on firing Victoria. See reddit is currently trying to find a way to make money for it's investors. It needs to both grow larger and return more money per user in order to accomplish this. Current rumor on the firing is that Victoria was pressing back on a lot of these monetization strategies so they got rid of her. The simple fact is that Snapzu and Voat can exist being smaller than reddit, but reddit can't exist being smaller than what it is.

      If reddit continues to hemorage users to other sites, investors will pull out and reddit will be sold all the same as Digg was. Afterall the primary reason Digg went down was the community's distaste in efforts to regulate power users, and it's monetization strategies. reddit was the promise land of a more equal impact of user contribution, and a more fair monetization strategy than what Digg delivered. Victoria was a band-aid on reddit's current functional deficiencies and a liaison between the community and delivering content which generated money. They just ripped off that band-aid w/o fixing the underlying issues.

      • spaceghoti
        +4

        It's possible that the backlash will grow into something that will have an effect on reddit's revenue stream. However, that still remains to be seen. I don't think people really appreciate just how many contributors there are and how diverse the demographics are. We look at the bigger ones like /r/politics and /r/atheism that have a strong liberal demographic and judge the whole site by them, but that's a mistake. There's a CNN article posted on reddit about over 150,000 names being posted to a petition to remove Ellen Pao as CEO, but what people don't realize is that 200,000 users isn't even a tenth of the biggest subreddits. The number of users, both active and lurkers, number in the millions.

        Yes, this could grow into a real problem for reddit in general and Ellen specifically. But that doesn't mean it's guaranteed.

    • QuietKerfuffle
      +3

      Having visited Reddit since 2006, I have to say those groups leaving always led to a drop in quality submissions and comments.

      • spaceghoti
        +4

        I don't doubt it. But it doesn't have to be quality for it to drive revenue.