(This is re-blog from June 2012)
Reddit isn’t new, but it’s probably the social network with the least media presence.
Perhaps that’s by design. Reddit is odd. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, it’s meritocratic to a fault, and established brands have less — not more — credibility on its pages. It disdains self-promotion, embraces the “wisdom of the crowds” philosophy and has been known to sniff out hoaxes.
But Reddit has a media history itself (it was bought by Condé Nast in 2006) and is worth checking out. Here’s a few tips on how not to get downvoted into oblivion.
Don’t (just) post links. This seems counterintuitive, since this is what journalists default to on social media. But as The Atlantic and BusinessWeek found out, this doesn’t fly on Reddit. You’ll be able to get away with posting some links once you’re an active member of the community, but that’s going to take awhile.
Find your subreddit. There’s a topic page, known as a subreddit, for just about everything. I cover banking and finance, and each has its own. These can be useful to find out what’s gaining attention and what experts on your beat think. And yes, there are several subreddits for journalism.
Get local. Most cities have their own subreddits, of varying popularity. Charlotte doesn’t have the most vibrant presence (it just crossed 1,500 subscribers), but even today it yielded a possibly interesting story. New York, as you would expect, has a bustling one.
Engage. Reddit has an awesome general Q&A feature called IAmA, simultaneously meaning “I am a…” and “ask me anything.” If you’re brave enough, take some questions from the community. The features editor at the Boston Globe recently did just that, and got quite a bit of response.
Crowdsource but don’t crowdsource. You likely won’t be able to get away with posting a general inquiry and expecting a great response. A blatant plea for help is as likely to draw scorn than assistance. But on general news events, you’ll get plenty of opinions and maybe even a few potential sources.