About two weeks ago, Global Reddit Meetup Day took place in cities around the globe to bring together the community of people devoted to the largest Internet message board in the world. According to New York magazine, 35 million users sign onto Reddit every month, and there are approximately 144,000 active sub-forums, each for a different topic. This year, a meetup group of more than 200 met in Central Park for five hours to eat food, hang out, and catch up on site gossip. Most of the attendees were male, mimicking the demographic of those who consider themselves Reddit pros. Many of the users also work in IT.
According to New York, “Reddit is not Facebook. Reddit is not Twitter. Twitter and Facebook are platforms. Reddit is a single organism, a gigantic Internet brain, composed of millions of cells, each of which vibrates at its own frequency.” There seems to be two parts to the Reddit culture. A more scandalous, gossipy side that includes forums about insults and paranoia. The other side, however, has raised hundreds of thousands for various charities and has guaranteed signatures for petitions for different movements. Though the site originated with computer nerds and techies, the increase in users has shifted the demographic to more women and people interested in other topics, like sports.
At the meetup, people ate food and played games like laser tag, Frisbee and card games. Reddit CEO, Yishan Wong, was also in attendance, and spent the day answering questions about the site setup. Wong considers himself an engineer, and began as a Redditor before become an executive at the company. Wong told Shaer that, “On Reddit, perhaps because you can be anonymous, people are willing to be openly sad or angry. They are more honest.”