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8 Take Aways from the Reddit Madness

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Reddit has been thrust into chaos on Friday as hundreds of the biggest communities on the social news site went dark following the sudden departure of a popular employee. What happened? And more important, what should you take away from this Reddit Madness?

To understand what's going on, you need to know how Reddit polices its communities.

The site acts as a social network, news aggregate, and niche interest message board, all rolled into one. Anyone can start a community, or subreddit, on almost any subject. The subreddits are given a unique URL. For instance, r/AskScience is dedicated to questions about science and r/GameOfThrones is a discussion board about the popular HBO fantasy show. The website welcomes around 170 million unique visitors per month, which makes it a pretty big deal and probably the biggest online community to date.

Subreddits are managed by community moderators, with almost zero input from Reddit's paid admin staff, provided that they don't violate a few global rules or post illegal content.

While the paid Reddit admins have no formal business relationship with the community moderators, they rely on them to maintain the site's communities, some of which have many millions of members. Moderators have a huge amount of power as they are not accountable to users, cannot be voted out, and can alter or delete their communities at any time.

But hell broke loose last Friday when Victoria Taylor, a staff member responsible for the well known "Ask Me Anything" Q&A community — often a platform for celebrities to communicate with the public — was allegedly dismissed.

Simultaneously, the "Ask Me Anything" thread, or r/IAmA, was set as private, preventing ordinary Reddit users from viewing or commenting on discussions.
The personnel change even sparked an immediate and forceful response from the Reddit community, with at least 265 of the site's most popular communities — many with millions of subscribers — turning off in solidarity.

The popular social news site, together with the management, is suffering under great pressure and critique and the Internet is already speculating on the end of Reddit how we’ve known it. Only time can tell what will happen with the one of the largest online communities in the world but what should we learn from this debacle?

Check out the 8 take aways from the Reddit madness HERE!

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8 Take Aways from the Reddit Madness

  1. 8 TAKE AWAYS FROM THE REDDIT MADNESS
  2. 8 TAKE AWAYS FROM THE REDDIT MADNESS POWER OF THE CROWD AUTO-REGULATED ECOSYSTEM NO CONTROL HUMANS MATTER COMMUNICATE #FFF NO USERS NO RELEVANCE TOO BIG TO FAIL?
  3. 8 TAKE AWAYS FROM THE REDDIT MADNESS PEOPLE ARE HERD ANIMALS. HAVING A LARGE COMMUNITY OF HUMAN BEINGS WHO STAND BEHIND YOU AND YOUR BRAND IS A TRUE BLESSING BUT BE AWARE OF THE RISKS WHEN THINGS DON’T TURN OUT LIKE YOU WANTED. A SMALL HARM TOWARD AN INDIVIDUAL CAN AFFECT THE DYNAMICS OF THE WHOLE GROUP BECAUSE OF THE UNITY WITHIN THIS COMMUNITY. UNDERSTAND THE PSYCHOLOGY BEHIND THE WOLFPACK AND NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF THE CROWD. REDDIT UNDERTOOK ACTIONS TO ONE PERSON IN THE GROUP BUT IT SPREAD CHAOS AROUND THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY. IT BECAME A CRISIS WHEN THE COMMUNITY STOOD UP FOR ITS MEMBERS. 1. Never underestimate the power of the crowd. 1/8 ☛
  4. 8 TAKE AWAYS FROM THE REDDIT MADNESS 2. Communities are auto-regulated ecosystems. COMMUNITIES CAN BE COMPARED WITH ECOSYSTEMS, WHICH REGULATE THEMSELVES TO KEEP THE SYSTEM’S MECHANISM(S) ALIVE. THE GROUP OF PEOPLE HAS ITS OWN METHODS TO SURVIVE AND WILL ALWAYS REACT IN THE MOST PROPER WAY WHEN THE DYNAMICS OF THE COMMUNITY HAVE BEEN AFFECTED. WE SEE THIS IN NATURE AND WE SEE THIS IN GROUPS OF PEOPLE AS WELL. THE REDDIT COMMUNITY REGULATES ITSELF IN A NATURAL WAY WHERE MODERATORS CAN’T INTERFERE (THAT MUCH). THE COMMUNITY WILL SURVIVE, EVEN IF THIS MEANS THAT THEY HAVE TO ABANDON THE KNOWN TERRITORY. UNDERSTAND THIS WHEN YOU BUILD OR MAINTAIN YOUR COMMUNITY. 2/8☚ ☛
  5. 8 TAKE AWAYS FROM THE REDDIT MADNESS 3. You can’t control the community. SINCE COMMUNITIES HAVE THIS AUTO REGULATION MECHANIC, YOU SHOULDN’T TRY TO CONTROL THE GROUP. PEOPLE ARE HERD ANIMALS BUT YOU WILL NEVER BE THE SHEEP HERDER. AS SAID BEFORE, THE MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY WILL REMAIN ONE GROUP BUT COULD ABANDON YOU AND YOUR PLATFORM. YOU SHOULD BE THE FACILITATOR THAT MAKES PROCESSES AS FRICTIONLESS AS POSSIBLE AND THE REFEREE THAT SETS OUT THE LINES TO PROTECT THE ORDER. HOWEVER, YOU WILL NEVER BE THE OWNER OR THE CONTROLLER OF THE COMMUNITY. CHERISH THE PEOPLE WHO ARE A PART OF THE GROUP AND TREAT THEM RIGHT. THEY ARE NOT YOUR SHEEP! 3/8☚ ☛
  6. 8 TAKE AWAYS FROM THE REDDIT MADNESS 4. Human beings always make the difference. IT IS NOT A SECRET THAT WE ALL LOVE HUMAN INTERACTION. WE’RE HUMAN BEINGS AFTER ALL. A PLATFORM IS JUST A PLATFORM, A TOOL, A MEDIUM. WHAT WE TRULY LOVE IS PERSONALITY AND CONNECTION. WE LOVE THE NICE PEOPLE WHO HELP US WHEN WE HAVE TROUBLE. WE LOVE THE ‘REALNESS’ OF COMPANIES AND COMMUNITIES. THE REDDIT CASE EXPLODED BECAUSE THE COMMUNITY FELT A STRONG CONNECTION WITH AND SHOWED TRUE EMPATHY FOR THE ‘LOVELY VICTORIA’ WHO HAD BEEN FIRED BY THE BIG BAD CORPORATE MONSTER BEHIND THE SOCIAL NETWORK. TECHNOLOGY HAS BECOME THE STANDARD, WHAT WE WANT ARE GENUINE PEOPLE. 4/8☚ ☛
  7. 8 TAKE AWAYS FROM THE REDDIT MADNESS 5. Communicate Fast - Frank -Full Scale. WHEN IT COMES TO CRISIS COMMUNICATION, ALWAYS CONSIDER THE F-F-F-METHOD. IT SHOULD BE FAST. OTHERS WILL TALK ABOUT YOU SO YOU’D PROBABLY WANT TO BE THE FIRST ONE TO SPEAK UP. IT SHOULD BE FULL SCALE. GIVE THE PEOPLE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE INFORMATION TO AVOID RUMORS AND LIES. IT SHOULD BE FRANK. JUST BE HONEST. IF YOU MADE A MISTAKE, SAY IT, APOLOGIZE AND TRY TO COME UP WITH A SOLUTION. IF THE CRISIS IS VERY COMPLEX, COMMUNICATE ABOUT THE NEXT STEPS. NEVER WAIT! THE APPROACH OF REDDIT HIGHLIGHTED THE FACT THAT THEY NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT CRISIS COMMUNICATION. DON’T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE. 5/8☚ ☛
  8. 8 TAKE AWAYS FROM THE REDDIT MADNESS 6. The platform is only as strong as its users. WHAT’S THE BEST ONLINE PLATFORM EVER? WELL, I GUESS THAT’S A TRICK QUESTION. FOR ME, IT USED TO BE MYSPACE AND THEN IT WAS FACEBOOK. NOW PROBABLY IT WOULD BE INSTAGRAM. WHY? RELEVANCE! A PLATFORM THRIVES AND SURVIVES DUE TO THE RELEVANCE ITS USERS BRING TO THE TABLE. NO USERS MEANS NO RELEVANCE HENCE NO PLATFORM. THE PEOPLE WHO FORM YOUR PLATFORM MATTER THE MOST. IT’S THE REASON WHY GOOGLE+ IS FAILING. THERE ARE NO USERS THAT USE IT IN INTERESTING, RELEVANT WAYS. UNTIL THAT HAPPENS, GOOGLE PLUS WILL NEVER BE A SUCCESSFUL SOCIAL NETWORK. AND IT’S THE SAME REASON WHY REDDIT COULD FALL APART NOW. 6/8☚ ☛
  9. 8 TAKE AWAYS FROM THE REDDIT MADNESS 7. The center of gravity doesn’t lie in what you say. AS A COMMUNITY MANAGER OR ‘OWNER’ OF THE PLATFORM, YOU DON’T REALLY MATTER. THE POWER OF THE COMMUNITY LIES WITHIN THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE COMMUNITY MEMBERS. IF YOU’RE BUILDING A COMMUNITY FOR MORE ONE-WAY COMMUNICATION FROM YOURSELF TO OTHERS, IT’S DOOMED TO FAIL BEFORE IT’S STARTED. LIKE STATED EARLIER, YOU SHOULD BE THE FACILITATOR AND THE REFEREE. YOU SHOULD DO EVERYTHING WITHIN YOUR POWER TO MAXIMIZE THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE DIFFERENT MEMBERS OF THE GROUP. NO CONNECTIONS MEANS NO COMMUNITY. NOW THAT SOME OF THE LARGEST SUBREDDITS TURNED PRIVATE, WE SEE THAT THE VISITORS CAN’T CONNECT ANYMORE. AS THIS SITUATION STAYS THE SAME, THE PLATFORM SUFFERS ENORMOUSLY AND EVENTUALLY COULD DIE! 7/8☚ ☛
  10. 8 TAKE AWAYS FROM THE REDDIT MADNESS 8. Nothing is too big to fail. IF YOU’D ASK ME THE ONE THING YOU SHOULD ALWAYS REMEMBER, I WOULD DEFINITELY SAY: NOTHING IS EVER TOO BIG TO FAIL. WE’VE SEEN GOLIATH, NAPOLEON, KODAK, MYSPACE, THE LA LAKERS AND A LOT OF OTHER GIANTS END UP LOSING DRAMATICALLY. THEY NEVER THOUGHT THEY COULD LOSE, THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE TOO BIG TO FAIL. WELL, NOTHING IS AND NOTHING WILL EVER BE. REDDIT IS (QUITE) A BIG SOCIAL NEWS WEBSITE BUT IF THEY DON’T MANAGE TO SET THINGS STRAIGHT FAST THEY COULD BE ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK SOON. REMEMBER THAT IT’S EAT OR BE EATEN OUT THERE AND THAT YOU’LL WANT A SERIOUS GAME PLAN SORTED OUT BEFORE ALL GOES DOWN. 8/8☚
  11. 8 TAKE AWAYS FROM THE REDDIT MADNESS POWER OF THE CROWD AUTO-REGULATED ECOSYSTEM NO CONTROL HUMANS MATTER COMMUNICATE #FFF NO USERS NO RELEVANCE TOO BIG TO FAIL?
  12. 8 TAKE AWAYS FROM THE REDDIT MADNESS

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