If you’ve been online long enough, you’ve probably heard of Reddit Loseit. It’s a new social site where you can interact with people from all over the world, talk about everything from fashion to travel and even (gulp) weight loss. The site was created by Internet marketing professional Matt Cutts, who also happens to be one of the hottest Internet entrepreneurs today. Before joining the site, Cutts made a name for himself by founding one of the first high traffic websites on the Internet.
Reddit Loseit started out last year as a product designed to help Internet marketers organize their conversations around a central theme, i.e., how to make money on the Internet. It did so well that Matt and his co-creator, Joe Blow, received several angel investor grants to keep the site alive. The site still gains momentum even today, even after its massive launch earlier this summer. Here’s how it works:
Users ”subscribe” to a specific user’s conversation. When they do, every time they see that person’s initial post, they are alerted, by sending a ”tip” or vote down to the comment. They continue to be notified each time a new comment is added, whether the comment is well-made and relevant or not. Subscribers also have the ability to downvote any comment they deem to be off-topic, so long-term active editors can help boost a post’s vote total to the top of the Reddit list. The only rule is that the comment has to have a minimum of one vote to remain on the list.
Once a subscriber begins following the tips, he/she must maintain that discipline. After all, it’s easy to get lazy and allow yourself to slip into a Reddit groove by regularly commenting and voting without pausing to think about the kinds of comments you are actually making. It can take up to 20 minutes for a non-treated link to appear in a post, so it pays to be vigilant. One way to check whether or not a creditor is following through with his/her plan is by seeing if the comment was treated (i.e., approved) or declined. If the comment was declined, that’s a clear indication that the subscriber isn’t paying attention to what he/she is actually doing and hasn’t posted any tips/information that was helpful.
But how do you know how the rest of the community is reacting to/talking about your first posts? The Reddit APIs makes it easy to get a quick snapshot of all replies/link clicks (i.e., comments received). All you need to do is use the Reddit API command ”showreddiquette” and pass a valid parameter specifying the number of times a particular redditor should post feedback. With this info, you can see which comments are getting a ton of attention (i.e., lots of up votes) and which ones are only receiving a few down votes. You can also see the average amount of time people spend on each comment, as well as its quality (i.e., whether or not the comment passed the ”heat test”).
It takes time for any new user to build up their profile and reputation. New editors will therefore initially be affected by the volume of feedback they receive less than they would if they were constantly exposed to a barrage of comments. While social feedback is very valuable, it is important to take into account the likelihood of decreasing returns before using it to draw conclusions about user behavior. Using the Reddit API to analyze editor responses to your posts is a great first step, but it doesn’t give you all the information you need to make informed decisions.