COMO SOCIAL: What Columbia is talking about on Reddit

Thursday, June 27, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT; updated 2:37 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Missourian sometimes reports on social media web sites and conversations, to offer a window into Columbia's online communities. See a previous story about how to cut down on Facebook and Twitter clutter using lists and other services.

The topic today:

What it is: Reddit is an online message board also known as "the front page of the internet." The website's community and popularity have been growing since its inception in 2005.

How it's used: Essentially, Reddit users submit links, and other users "upvote" them if they deem them worthy of consumption. Users can also comment on the links. You can read more about the intricacies of how Reddit functions here. Popular topics up for discussion include funny images circulating the Internet, recent news events and "Ask Me Anything" sessions, where Reddit users can ask questions of the subject of the AMA and the subject will answer. Famous people such as President Obama and 74-time Jeopardy winner Ken Jennings have made headlines for hosting AMAs of their own.

You might have heard reference to Reddit in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, when a firestorm of false accusations abounded in a "Findthebostonbombers" thread on the website. Reddit later apologized for "hindering" a "crisis situation.

How Columbia topics are being discussed: Communities around the topics of Columbia, Mizzou and Missouri have a presence on Reddit in something called a subreddit, which is essentially a forum for specific communities. Users ask questions of each other, have discussions about news stories and put their heads together about general questions surrounding the city, campus and state. Here are a few recent examples of what Columbia has been talking about:

Columbia, Mo. (link to subreddit)

Mizzou (link to subreddit)

Missouri (link to subreddit)

There are many other non-geographic communities, on topics like technology, entertainment and politics. With Reddit, you don't have to contribute right away. Take a while to test the waters, see what people are talking about and then jump in when something inspires you.

Do you use Reddit? What tips or links do you have to share? Comment below, or email supervising editor Joy Mayer.

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