Reddit traffic is up 10x in a year because its users are cynical, skeptical, hateful, and trollish.
Adam Rifkin stashed this in User Generated Content
I was reading Why Reddit Traffic Has Exploded in 12 Months, and they attribute Reddit's jump from 2 million daily actives to 15million+ daily actives in less than a year to Digg v4.
But the article adds more color by saying why so many Digg readers are now also reading Reddit.
It has to do with how Reddit destroys poor quality items thanks to the Reddit community:
There were eye-opening experiences happening all over Reddit during the last months of the year. New users were finding out what old users have known for a while – the content is really THAT good. Unlike other sites where quality is often not the only factor in something going viral, on Reddit, quality is everything. It’s not guaranteed that something of high quality will make it on Reddit, but it’s absolutely guaranteed that something of low quality will be destroyed there.
The community is the most passionate out there. The demographics are tight and the users are everything negative about the internet: cynical, skeptical, hateful, and trollish. These traits, while annoying to much of the internet, make the site work. If a user posts something not worthy, they are told so. The story has no chance of moving up and will likely draw the original poster negative comments and ridicule.
The result of this type of community is that the stuff that makes it to the top likely deserves to be there. A Mashable story may be able to get 1000 automated tweets, but if it’s not a good story, it can easily get negative points on Reddit. “Gaming the system” is nearly impossible for spammers. Those who are able to be successful at it are eventually caught and unmasked.
After many years, the Reddit curators now seem aligned with the Digg readers -- more so than the Fark curators or even the remaining Digg curators.
I'm still unclear on where I could go for lots of high-quality content, but it's now clear that slow and steady has worked well for Reddit avoiding low-quality content.
Squidoo is a massive Google link farm. It's actually pretty clever, if essentially useless. It's Seth Godin's startup.
Well, we now know that Digg's traffic was tanking.
And your assessment of Squidoo looks spot-on: clever, but useless.
Meanwhile, Reddit, Tumblr, Twitter, and Wikipedia continue to grow. They're four companies I look to as evidence that a service can maintain quality at scale.
And it's not like the "asshole factor" on Reddit has gone away since it's grown: