What is reddit?

Self-styled as ‘The front page of the Internet’, reddit is a social media/news aggregator and forum. People from around the world post links to just about anything (and I mean ANYTHING) from cat pics to serious political topics. Contentious matters may be tagged [NSFW] (i.e. Not Suitable For Work) and are definitely not for the faint-hearted. There is now a Content Policy and reddit will ban users and delete content that violates this code.

Wild West

There’s no two ways about it, reddit can feel like the internet version of the wild west, and the design of it is looks like it was knocked up 10 mins before the hand-in deadline, by someone who hates design. However, the simplicity of it, and the freedom it facilitates, its worldwide reach, and uninhibited access is arguably everything that is good and powerful about social media and the web.

reddit statistics gathered at the end of 2016:

  • 234 million unique users
  • 853,824 subreddits
  • 11,464 active communities
  • 217 countries with users
  • 8 billion page views
  • 25 million votes

Users, who are anonymous, can choose to upvote or downvote posts, and the most popular posts will rise to the Front Page. In addition to voting, users can comment on posts but be warned, as with all public forums, a fairly high proportion of users are puerile trolls and you may encounter some unpleasant attitudes (NB Don’t feed the trolls – i.e. do not argue with them, just ignore them). This is despite the rules of Reddiquette. Users may also flag a thread as [SERIOUS], which usually keeps away the trolls.


reddit is divided/organised into ‘subreddits’ which are dedicated forums for specific interests.

‘So what has this got to do with my work?’

The power of reddit can arguably be boiled down to these three things:

  1. Information – there’s so much that can be gained from the ‘hive mind
  2. Debate – debating in ‘serious’ subreddits can be beneficial to everyone.
  3. Contact – you can benefit from being in contact with people wanting to talk about the same things, whether they are just interested parties, or top professionals in any subject and area of life, from astronauts to film stars, scientists and businesses people.

Finding useful information

Filtering information is primarily achieved by browsing and/or subscribing to subreddits. The subreddits to which I have subscribed include Higher Education, Cambridge (the city rather than the university), politics, science, world news, ARU, and baking (I like cakes!).

By subscribing and unsubscribing to subreddits, including education-related topics, you can tailor the information you receive. As a registered user you can submit a new link, submit a new text post, or, if you can’t find what you’re looking for, create your own subreddits!

To help you get started we’ve put together a list of subreddits (links below), the links take you to subreddits specifically focused on those areas.




Find something in reddit that is useful or interesting to you in your job, and copy the URL into the the comments section of this blog post – even better if you describe why it’s useful to you. reddit_logo1

105 thoughts on “reddit

  1. janet sinclair-hilton March 8, 2017 / 3:36 pm

    interesting site; the pictures of the morocco desert were calming , I needed calming


  2. Sophie Castle March 8, 2017 / 4:17 pm

    It was interesting to see what Reddit is. I’d heard of it but never used it myself. Don’t think it’ll be something I use very regularly. Struggled to find anything that would help me at work anyway.
    Something like this might be useful to see what applicants are looking for and what they need to know, but other social media platforms seem to be more popular for finding out things like that.


  3. Margaret March 8, 2017 / 5:00 pm

    Not used Reddit before so good to know about it – not that useful but followed a subreddit for libraries with some amusing anecdotes…


  4. Hannah Hunt March 9, 2017 / 10:31 am

    I spent some time looking through the University reddits. Interesting how little activity there is on ARU compared to say University of Essex!


  5. arumarc March 10, 2017 / 10:53 am

    As others have noted reddit is great for opinion or for getting a quick start on the issues relating to a topic you don’t know much about (ELI5 and the science reddits are good for this) but the other thing I like it for (outside of a steady stream of cat pictures) is watching how to (and how not to) use Social Media (AKA ‘The Hope Farm’) to do marketing, /r/hailcorporate used to be quite good and other gems come up every now and again, like this:

    Demonstrating both the power and the risk of engaging with more open social platforms and helping people understand that shills, sock puppet and bots populate huge sections of any platform where people congregate.

    Reddit’s certainly done a good job of where old aggregators, like Slashdot, left off and it’s more socially acceptable / tolerable than /b but I remain to be convinced that it’s a serious tool.


  6. Paula Langton March 10, 2017 / 11:40 am

    Despite carrying out several work related searches was unable to find anything directly relevant. However I did find this for my out of work interests.


  7. Penny Screech March 10, 2017 / 2:08 pm

    I unfortunately could not find in the time I have available today any links related to my work,so I chose to look for something in which I am interested, even if only from an armchair.

    I have to say that I did not find Reddit as user-friendly as most other sites.


  8. Sandra Cross March 10, 2017 / 3:16 pm

    r/DyspraxiaSupport : this is a supportive community for anyone with dyspraxia, and would be a useful link to share with any newly diagnosed student, as everyone experiences it differently. I saw a post that actually states that the way the person experiences it isn’t anything like what they have read about it in the literature. However, generally, I had a hard time getting my head around reddit and how it compares/fits with any other social media!


  9. catherine foottit March 10, 2017 / 4:23 pm

    I had a look at office culture, which is something I am interested in. I have never been on the site before – will check it out again when I have more time.


  10. Iain Brett March 13, 2017 / 9:47 am

    I regularly use Reddit in a private capacity; the interface is not user-friendly immediately but is deceptively simple when you get used to it.
    Not sure I’d use it for more serious matters than the occasional debate though. The views expressed tend to be distorted and biased towards one side or another dependent on which subreddit you find them in (for instance r/politics is relatively left-leaning by USA standards, r/ukpolitics is quite Tory-biased, and I won’t even say anything about r/The_Donald).
    In terms of things relevant to my work, though…


  11. Raynor March 13, 2017 / 9:53 am

    Not something I would use I think, much of the articles seemed to have an American focus found a link to a discussion on Low fat vs High protein diets

    A journalist goes on a 3 week LCHF diet, and questions the government diet advice.


  12. Jennifer Little March 13, 2017 / 9:16 pm

    Didn’t manage to find anything ‘Employability related’ however did find this interesting link;

    TIL: That one gram of DNA can store up to 215 Petabytes( or 215000 TB) of data. (

    (TIL = Things I Learnt)


  13. Sara Donner-Langstone March 14, 2017 / 11:19 am

    I had a look at the Open University as may take another degree through it. So had a look at the studying at the Open University page underneath the following URL:


  14. janeshelley March 16, 2017 / 12:02 pm

    Not used Reddit before and not sure it will be my first place to spend time but good to be aware of it. Nothing much of direct use but possibly if anything in looking at topics to discuss…


  15. Nicole March 21, 2017 / 4:33 pm

    it’s good to know of this site, but doubt I’ll be going back to it. Not my cup of tea. struggled to find anything of use/interest. So instead I just went with this pic, that made me smile. And might make others smile:


  16. John Manning March 30, 2017 / 1:35 pm

    To Learn, Create, Share, & Educate


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