Is reddit finally dying?

A king has his reign, and then he dies.

Granted I’m not netcraft so I really have no way to confirm but I found something kind of interesting the last week or so while fighting various link386’s.

not quite netcraft but it’ll do

Granted with redirects I’m a large referrer to myself. But it’s no surprise that in the top ten that 3 of them are google, duckduckgo is becoming a real force to be reckoned with and BING?! It must be no rumor that BING has always been incredibly profitable, to the point where Microsoft had been giving away Windows 8/8.1 licenses for free with the condition that they were basically BING machines. It’s too bad the UWP thing and the constant rebrands and failure of the phone killed it all as I liked the idea of sub $100 personal computers.

But the real news here is ycombinator aka Hacker News. It’s the new slashdot, and it’s not surprisingly eclipsed the more insular lobste.rs, but also both are ahead of the once mighty juggernaut reddit!

Looking at local graphs & cloudflare

local blog stats

Ever since I had to use cloudflare the stats never report anywhere near correctly but you can pretty much see when I post, and the uptick, except when some stuff gets crazy popular years later for seemingly no reason like processing NASA images of Saturn.

Cloudflare freebie graphing.

Now compare and contrast with Cloudflare and you can see how nothing aligns. I do have the cloudflare plugins and stuff on WordPress but it never seems to do the right job. oh well I guess I can’t complain too much.

So what’s the big deal?

Its always about user engagement. And the other issue being that despite reddit’s horrible reputation for censorship and group thing anyone can sign up. When engagement happens over there anyone is free to join in. Hacker News also allows user account creation, but lobst.rs however is different requiring an invite. And for new upstarts or anyone getting a start it really sucks to see an audience behind a gate and you aren’t invited to that private club.

Looking at Ycombinator’s Hacker News, you can see far more engagement and crossposting. Neat! And over at Lobst.rs there is a bit of posting but far less engagement. Ending it out of course is reddit. Or maybe reddit is just fresh ground to crosspost. I know it’s bad taste to post your own stuff over and over, and I’m not going to publish on a 3rd party site, ever since the massive blogger outages of 2011.

Is reddit really in decline?

Has reddit finally lost its appeal? Or do people just post directly to there hoping their posts and images don’t get erased? I can’t imagine putting so much time and effort into something to only potentially lose it all because of someone else. I know the US political scene certainly turned a LOT of people off of American sites as it became wall to wall USA. It was so crazy I had people calling me in Hong Kong wanting either donations or votes, despite the fact that I’m nether there nor American. Otherwise it’s just a meme fest over on RLM, 80’s design, retro-cgi, unixporn, and of course The Stop Girl.

Takeaways

I occasionally see people asking about blogging, writing or even the video thing. I’d love to do videos but being in Hong Kong there is no space I’m always getting people walking into my office, I have young kids screaming and crying and of course thanks to the RIAA and tall buildings I get people’s music overlapping.

Years ago it was the slashdot effect, then getting DUG at DIGG, then being reddited. how is YC’d? Are lobst.rs boiled? One thing is for sure find your audience and engage them everywhere. That’s my advice to anyone crazy enough to get started, but it’s never too late. And own your data, own your platform, even if it’s bigger elsewhere, but you cannot depend on a 3rd party to ever care as much as you do.

4 thoughts on “Is reddit finally dying?

  1. Reading you from Feedly every time you post, been with you since forever. Probably discovered you originally from OS/2 Museum or binging some kind of random legacy OS problem. Love your work and will keep reading as long as you feel like writing!

  2. For what it’s worth, Reddit always seemed like a low quality discourse site to me. It’s true that it had the lowest barriers to entry, since anyone could get an account and then jump into any domain in which they had an interest, but it seemed like most participants had an interest but not a great deal of domain knowledge.

    Lobste.rs took the opposite extreme with the invite-only join. This wasn’t a big problem for me; I found out about the site when somebody linked to my blog, and after jumping on IRC, showing I was the blog author and had some level of technical depth, I had an account. While this path may be lower volume, it also leads to higher quality, so it’s a more effective mechanism of providing articles and conversations that are actually worth reading. It’s since become my main go-to for technology news.

    The stranger thing about it is a fairly strict “no politics, no tech business” stance which is visibly different to Slashdot or ycombinator-sponsored news.

    It may be that reddit is losing appeal due to its low quality conversations. But it might also be that something like link386 is just too technically involved for that audience, and if you posted Win95 running on a Nokia, the results would be different. Fwiw, I posted a link to your link386 post to /r/os2, but there’s only 288 people in that sub, so it’s not the type of thing that will yield tons of traffic.

    • Yeah I guess that’s the thing by being so polarizing and ban heavy you can’t have any real discourse so it’s basically made reddit a site to exchange cat pictures.

      I wasn’t expecting all that much about link386 as it’s an incredibly fringe thing in 1992, let alone 2021! but looking at /r/os2 and the buildup and post warpstock and yeah you can see it’s really not the place.

      Speaking of OS/2 odd they disabled comments on the warpstock video.

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