It is regarded as the most detailed longitudinal analysis of Reddit’s evolution. The research sought to determine how user submissions have progressed over time, as well as how the community’s attention distribution and expectations of submissions have changed. For a five-year duration from 2008 to 2012, the unit of research was 60 million submissions. In terms of posted submissions, understanding, and attention, the analysis showed an ever-increasing diversification of subjects, which is followed by a concurrent focus on a few chosen domains. Besides, the study suggested that Reddit had transformed from a dedicated gateway to the Web to an increasingly self-referential community that reinforces and focuses on its user-generated image as well as textual content over external sources. The study brought light to dynamics in Reddit and other similar platforms that were unknown. It presents a significant step towards understanding the online communities. The researchers point out that Reddit is one of the largest online communities. By the time the study was conducted, the website had an average of 112 million unique visitors from more than 195 countries every month.

The researchers presented their findings into two broad categories each with three subsections. The first category relates to the diversity and self-reference of the Reddit while the second category is about attention and perception. The study reveals that the exponential growth in Reddit has led to the evolution of internal dynamics of the site which has affected its character especially as the front page of the internet. Therefore, the researchers investigated the distribution and the change over time of three critical aspects of Reddit. The first aspect involves the diversification of the subreddits. The existence of sub-communities or subreddits is the primary aspect of the Reddit. The researchers measured how popular subreddits are by counting the committed submission to a specific subreddit at a specified time on a monthly basis. They were able to affirm that distinct communities around topics managed to form in the secluded spaces of the subreddits. They have clear rules and sub ethics. The second aspect of Reddit is the linked domains. The Reddit have an option to either submit content through self-submission that are in the Reddit or through links to links in the external web (Singer et al. 517). As a tradition, most of the submissions have been links to external links considering the fact that the primary idea of the Reddit platform was to share links and then vote for them. The study established that self-reference posts had evolved at the same time as the linked domains. The last crucial aspect of the platform is the type of content that is linked. The researchers analysed the type of content the URL hosts as well as how each the popularity of each content had evolved. That way, they could have a better understanding of the distributions of the links to the external domain. The study reveals that images constitute the majority of submissions. Regarding the attention and submission, the study reveals that there is a huge difference between those people who submit content and those who consume content in an online community. The researchers analysed attention and submission by investigating how users perceive subreddits, type of content as well as external domains. They found out that there was diversification of content submitted over a large number of subreddits an indication of positive perception of the diversified content (Singer et al. 519). Besides, they established that self-submissions are the primary drivers of conversation. Finally, the fact that increase in image and submissions led to increased attention is an indication that different type of submissions is received by the community with different reactions.

The points that will be included in the field work include;

Diversification of subreddits

The distribution of links to the external domain

Attention and perception of users to subreddits, external domain, and type of content


Singer, Philipp, et al. “Evolution of reddit: from the front page of the internet to a self-referential community?.” Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on World Wide Web. ACM, 2014. doi>10.1145/2567948.2576943

Part II

Some of the observations that I have made in the field work is that the leaders of the of the community act like elected officials. They are able to build direct relationships with the users of the website. Although Reddit is created on the premise that one can post almost everything, harassers and trolls are set to be silenced. When the users talk of smoke, they mean smoking of marijuana. They also call it the chosen herb, tree, or the weed. They have a scale of 0-10 in which they describe how high they were. For instance, one can say “today I was at a solid of (9).” The means he or she was very high. From, their conversations, it is evident that the community does not understand why marijuana should be illegal. The article on the evolution of Reddit will help me analyze the online sub-communities, and the data on attitude and perception will allow me to understand Reddit being the largest online community and how the website operates.

Part III

The second article is Widespread Underprovision on Reddit by Eric Gilbert. The article presents two statistical evidence that addresses underprovision on Reddit. Gilbert used the page view and analysed duplicate submissions. In order to understand the issues of underprovision in Reddit, the researchers conducted an analysis of page view data they had collected from Reddit. That way, they would establish the actual number of people who look at the new links that flow in the website. Reddit organizes its design around the most popular content, and everyone looks for the queue of the new submissions (Gilbert, 803). By finding the ratio of page views of new submissions and those of the popular contents, the researchers were able to find where attention flows on the website. The second phase of the study involved crawling at Reddit after every ten seconds. The researchers found most popular links in Reddit were noticed on the second submission. Only half of the popular links were noticed on their first submission (Gilbert, 804). On the other hand, an image that falls into the category of the most popular page receives greater than two orders of magnitude compared to one that does not. This article will assist me in analysing how Reddit and other online communities operate. I can confirm if the submissions that are considered popular have been submitted more than once before they are noticed.


Gilbert, Eric. “Widespread underprovision on Reddit.” Proceedings of the 2013 conference on Computer supported cooperative work. ACM, 2013. doi>10.1145/2441776.2441866

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