Friday, June 1, 2012

Reddit for Writers [StoryDam]

This is a post I shared with the StoryDam community yesterday.

Reddit Alien
 Reddit calls itself "the front page of the Internet" and, if you are a redditor and use the site regularly, it is easy to see how it lives up to the name. When I first started using Reddit myself, if I am being honest with you, I had no idea what it was or what I was getting into. In fact, it wasn't until a fellow redditor accused me of being a spammer that I decided to really figure out what the site was all about.

And that is when things got really exciting.

Reddit is a website full of communities of people who are fans of just about everything! In these communities redditors come together to share links from all around the Internet, they share tips and experiences, ask questions, but most of all have conversations about these things. Of course, this includes a bunch of communities for writers.  

Writing Subreddits

Some of the communities, called subreddits, that are great places to spend some web browsing time, along with their descriptions are:
  • Writing Welcome to the home for writers. We talk about important matters for wordsmiths, news affecting writing professionals, and the finer aspects of the writing craft.
  • Books Book reviews, recommendations, stories about books or book technology, etc.
  • Writers Group An online writer's group dedicated to the sharing and constructive peer-review of each other's written work.
  • Keep Writing A subreddit for writers to share and critique each others work, brainstorm together, give or receive advice, and more. As long as it's related to writing, you can talk about it here.
  • Prompt of the Day Another day, another writing prompt. This is the place to get those creative juices flowing, however works best for you. Post your own prompts, give helpful criticisms, and let's try to help each other learn.
There is so, so much more. On each of these pages you'll find recommendations for other writing subreddits. Each subreddit has its own set of rules and moderators, but I think you'll find it is pretty easy to maneuver once you get your feet wet.  

Your Reddit Crash-Course

Here's a quick rundown of what a reddit page looks like and what all the "stuff" means.

Writing subreddit page
To see a larger version of this image, click on it! :)

This is a snapshot of the "Writing" subreddit page right now, as I am typing this. Chances are, by the time you read this, it will look pretty different. I labeled six important sections of the page as a sort of quick "getting to know you" guide if it's your first time on reddit. Here's what they are:
  1. As you can probably tell, this is the title of the page you are on. On the left hand side of the number one is a small graphic (usually the reddit alien in theme with the page) and on the right hand side is the title of the page. Some pages also have completely different backgrounds and colors in an effort to customize their space.
  2. All the way down the left hand side of any reddit page are these funky arrows pointing up and down. These are really important to the community. These are votes: you vote "up" if you like the post and think others in the community should see it, and you vote "down" if you don't like it or this it is irrelevant to the community. When you open a reddit page, the link/story on top is the one with the most up-votes!
  3. The blue titles are the links/stories on the page. Sometimes these can bring you away from reddit to another website entirely, and sometimes it just opens up a story in text form on reddit. It depends on what was submitted.
  4. I should star this one. This is where you find the community. The comments below the links are, in my opinion, what separates reddit from other link sharing sites. When you open up the comments you will notice the up and down arrows again meaning that, just as we could with the main stories, we can vote on comments.
  5. This is where your information can be found if you sign up as a redditor. The envelope next to your username will change colors when someone has responded/reacted to something you submitted on reddit, or if someone has sent you a private message. And under preferences you can decide which subreddits to subscribe to.
  6. On the right hand side of the reddit page you will find all of the information about the particular subreddit you are in. There will be the description, the moderators and any rules they may have for you to follow. Also, if they have recommended any other subreddits, here's where you will find them.
This is really just the tip of the iceberg. I promise (warn) you: more than any other Social Media spot on the Internet, this is the greatest of all time-sucks for me (this post was supposed to be finished hours ago!). However, it is also an amazing resource. Use it, but please, use it wisely!

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