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You‘ve probably heard of Reddit, a social networking service where community members submit and vote on content. If you haven’t, that’s fine too – today we’re going to learn about the history and function of site.

Reddit was created in 2005 by Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman with only one topic. If you want to know more about how Reddit began, you can watch this video featuring its two cofounders:

Today there are more than 3 million active Reddit accounts! When you look at the website’s homepage, you can see that users didn’t arrive here because they heard about the sexy interface of Reddit- they came because they can can access new information, points of view and experiences! Reddit’s substance is its content.

Reddit’s is categorized into smaller subreddits. The conversation inside of a subreddit is based on a tree structure: while you can vote on the original post, you can also comment on it and on other comments. The comments themselves can also be upvoted and downvoted.

You can subscribe to whatever subjects you are interested in. This feed will appear on your homepage. Once you create a user account, you can start adding you own thought to this huge structured mayhem. By submitting your own content, you will earn “link karma” and “comment karma.” Like a new aggregator, the community collectively decides what is worthy of filtering to the top.

Once you’ve made your account, do yourself a favor and download the Google Chrome extension Reddit Enhancement Suite. Then, get started using Reddit effectively by taking a look at some of the most popular subreddits:

As you can see, the URLs for different subreddits stay constant. Most of the time you can, start browsing for the information you are looking for by simply typing in a topic in the subreddit field in the URL. For example, if you are interested in the group Anonymous you may type: http://www.reddit.com/r/anonymous or if you want to know more about the movie Avatar, you may type: http://www.reddit.com/r/avatar. You get the idea.

If you want to see more of other users, you can go check out their post history, their awards, and comment history by going to the URL: http://www.reddit.com/u/USERNAME. For example, here are two URLs of Reddit power users:
http://www.reddit.com/u/AWildSketchAppeared
http://www.reddit.com/u/Shitty_Watercolour

If you’re still looking for ways to get started, here is a list of some of my favorite subreddits:

There’s a lot to discover on Reddit – just make sure you don’t get addicted to all of it. Good luck and enjoy!