Reddit is a social news site where members submit their favorite content and it is voted upon by other community members. Here, the community members are empowered by getting to decided what makes the “Front Page” by voting on their favorite content. Started in 2005 in Medford, MA, the site has since grown into one of the most visited social bookmarking sites on the web, boasting over 42 million unique visitors in September 2012, from over 175 different countries. The site’s immense popularity has caught the attention of a broad spectrum of users, from the average Joe to Fortune 500 organizations across the globe. This is due to the increased visibility and massive amount of traffic the site can drive to a website or blog and the niche, online community full of interesting content posted by its users.
Social media played a large role in the 2008 election and has had a heavy influence in the 2012 election as well. According to a PEW Internet Survey on Politics and Social Networking, 25% of social network users say social sites are “very important” or “somewhat important” to them for debating or discussing political issues with others.
Reddit’s community has been active in the 2012 Presidential Election. For the past several months, election news has been some of the top shared content on Reddit and political candidates are using this to their advantage. During the debates, Reddit has gained a reputation as an alternative fact checker. With the 2012 Presidential election less than a month away, candidates are pulling out all the stops to get votes and with a platform based on a voting system, Reddit is a suitable choice.
In August, President Barack Obama took to the site to have an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session with community members, which allowed Reddit users to ask him questions. Announced only fifteen minutes prior to the event, the site was slammed with over 2 million people trying to access to the site during the 45 minute event. This forum provided an opportunity for the President to connect with potential voters that he may not have been able to reach otherwise. This was not the first time Reddit has hosted a forum of this nature. Other notable speakers, from company CEOs, celebrities, and scientists, have used the platform to their advantage as well. Through Reddit, organizations, among others, are able to reach individuals on a more personal level, while building their brand and creating influence in the process.
With over 1.7 million registered “Redditors” and almost 3.5 billion page views, it is no secret why Reddit is steadily climbing the ladder as the top social news site and outreach platform of choice for individuals, companies, and politicians alike. I am sure Redditors will be flooding the community with content and news pertaining to tonight’s debate. And with the site’s famous voting system, fair content sharing is ensured for all. Does Reddit have your vote?