Reddit: The Front Page of the Internet. Web. 24 Jan. 2012. <http://www.reddit.com>.
Reddit.com is an online posting board that works on a fairly basic rating system . Users who have a Reddit account are allowed to up or down vote different posts and, based on this collective rating, submissions are moved either up or down positions on the collective posting boards, creating the "front page" of Reddit. The most highly upvoted items at any one time appear closer to the top of the front page, as as time goes by and posts "lose steam" they slowly dissappear from the front page and are eventually archived. This entire process utilizes Web 2.0 technology extremely well.
Submissions to Reddit can be in the form of pictures, links, or just text comments. People are then able to comment within that post, and those comments can be up and down voted as well, again bringing the most liked/useful comments to the top of the page and those less liked drop toward the bottom of the page.
Submissions with the site are also broken up into smaller pieces. When you make a post to the website you choose which "sub-Reddit" you want to post to. A sub-Reddit is the title given to the different divisions of Reddit.com. You can make posts to a wide variety of places, but each sub-division has different rules as to the content that can be posted there. For instance, r/gaming is for posts that are gaming related, so something to do with cooking would not belong there, but rather should be posted to r/cooking . Users are able to subscribe to their favorite sub-Reddits so those posts will then be prioritized over sub-Reddits they are not subscribed to. Posts can be voted to the front page of their respective sub-Reddits in addition to potentially making the main front page of Reddit.
As an individual user these up and downvotes tally. If your link submissions are highly upvoted you can earn what is known as "link karma" Similarly you can earn "karma" for your comments on the links of others that get either up or downvoted, and this number is also kept track of. Both of these numbers show up on your own profile page, and although they do not necessarily mean anything, it is meant to be a fun way to keep track of your contributions to the site.
Reddit.com is arguably the first place to hear about just about anything and everything. As soon as any kind of breaking news happens, someone has already made a post about it, and people have already voted it to the front page. Reddit is often on the forefront of political movements and, most recently, was one of the leaders of the push to educate people about, and stop, SOPA/PIPA from passing. However, there is plenty that is not so serious about Reddit.com, as pictures of cats and different memes and jokes make the front page as often as important news stories. Reddit does require some amount of cyberliteracy, though the website is fairly all-inclusive as long as you keep up with the current trends on Reddit, as often if you do not visit the site in a few days you may have missed a post that has triggered the newest meme. In this way the website can be momentarily exclusive and require more cyberliteracy, though with a few quick searches anyone can get "in the know".
One criticism of Reddit is that many of the posters are often too self-indulgent and quick to believe that just because they are a member of Reddit they are more informed and smarter than a vast majority of the population. This is poked fun at on a daily basis in the subreddit r/circlejerk , where the titles of posts are made purposefully abserd based on some recent popular post. People are also often accused of "karma whoring", or doing something just because they know a lot of people will inherently agree with what they say just for upvotes , but is not actually thought provoking or a "legitimate" contribution to the Reddit collective. Overall, the Reddit community is often well intentioned and does not permit much in the way of over-the-top nasty behavior from its members. Additionally, though the membership on Reddit grows daily, its member base is made up of a lot of similarly-minded people, and that can also contribute to the naive and faux-open-minded comments made from time to time.
Overall Reddit is an extremely useful tool used by more and more people each day. It has been gaining more attention recently, and will only continue to grow in the near future. Reddit is often on the cutting edge for news and activism, and is an important tool for many in finding out what is important in the world today (as well as getting a few laughs at the obligatory cat photos). Most importantly, Reddit is great in the way of creating a global village , a place where everyone can come together and share their collective opinions on anything and everything in a democratic way. Reddit really is cyberculture at its finest.