Where the Lame Kids Went

Remember those kids from grade school who would rat out another kid for simple, harmless transgressions? Remember the kiss-asses who casually chatted with teachers like they gave a shit and hovered around the desk like brownie-point-seeking vultures? Or what about the kid who always had retarded commentary on whatever the subject was in class? You know him? Oh, and don’t even get me started on college – that was even worse! I distinctly remember these goofs who would fight for a seat in the front row and ask all sorts of ridiculous questions during each and every lecture. Sometimes I used to think that even the professors were pissed at these geniuses.

Anyway, you remember these people? I found them. All of them. And now I know what happens to these people after college. Hell, I think I found out where a lot of them hang out while they’re still in college. They’re on the internet. More specifically, these idiots seem to be flocking towards reddit and other social promotion sites of that ilk.

A couple of months ago, I posted about how I was actively using reddit to help promote articles and gain some readers for this site. Now, however, the gig’s off. Totally off. Reddit has officially become a community of glassy-eyed IDIOTS. Allow me to explain.

If you’ve followed reddit for a few months, then you know that if Paul Graham takes a shit, everybody on reddit comes over to take a whiff. According to statistics, these jackoffs all think it smells good, too. Look, I have no problem with Paul Graham or his essays. In fact, I read them, and I admire his keen insight and his very cogent presentation of thoughts. Most of his site contains really good reads which I’d suggest checking out whenever you’ve got some time to kill.

I didn’t write this post to hype Mr. Graham, though. In fact, I wrote it to prove a point that reddit’s not-so-diverse community of users has adopted the collective attitude of a geekster social club. As a whole, the redditites have their favorite sites, and they’ve shown a predilection towards certain types of posts. Thanks to the voting algorithms in use on the site, these retards redditites, who all seem to appreciate the exact same things (more on that in a bit), are able to effectively constrain the high-traffic pages of the site to the content with which they’re most comfortable.

In theory, the above statement defines a pretty solid model for social tagging/bookmarking/whatever the hell you want to call it. In practice, however, it has turned into an insanely geeky game of follow-the-leader. If reddit’s hard core base of idiots, who all appreciate the same nerdery, get ahold of a new article that they like, it’s a lock to appear on the front page. Once it gets there, the rest of these retarded sheep who use the site flock to the promotion arrow like ants at a picnic.

These morons, who happen to be the same lame kids you knew in grade school, are using the social aspects of “Web 2.0” to gain a collective conscience, thus devaluing their own. In my opinion, utilizing the web’s advancements in this way allows them all to be dumber and lazier on a daily basis. They have to think less; they have to browse less to find out what the “cool kids” are doing; and hell, they don’t even have to have an opinion! If they see that 303 other geeks thought something was cool, they’re going to hop right on the bandwagon too.

Where’d I come up with all this crackhead mess? I conducted a couple of experiments, of course. Over the last month, I’ve submitted articles to both digg and reddit on three different occasions. The latest submission was my most recent post, which described how to make your XP desktop resemble that of a Mac OSX. On reddit, the post got flamed out, receiving three negative votes in about half an hour. I’m not sitting here claiming that it was the greatest post ever, but only a geek-snob freak would demote it. Oh, wait, maybe someone with their head up their ass about Macs would do it too.

Since I already know that last sentence pisses you off, I have some sage advice for ya. First, eat me, because you’re totally missing the point. Second, I LIKE Macs. I love the seamless feel of OSX, and I appreciate all that Apple does, especially as far as the design and usability of their products are concerned. Regardless, this doesn’t mean that PCs are pieces of shit, and it doesn’t mean that PC users can’t change their old, hideous XP desktops into something more flavorful. In this case, the Flyakite OSX theme modification does just the trick. To me, it’s irrelevant that it’s Macintosh – I just want it to be different than that damned XP drollery.

So anyway, I submitted that same article to digg.com also, where it was received MUCH more favorably. Granted, it wasn’t a runaway smash hit, but then again, that was obvious from the onset. I just hoped that another poor soul like myself would find it useful for ditching project Methuselah XP’s default theme (I feel like it’s been here for a hundred years). Based on the response the article received within digg, I accomplished just that.

This begs the question, then, why were the responses on reddit and digg so drastically different, especially if the two systems are basically designed to do the same thing (champion good content versus crap)?

Fortunately, I’ve already answered this one for ya. All the lamers, retards, and mindless sheep who you knew in grade school (and wanted to punch) have found a nice safe haven over at reddit. The problems at reddit are the clear result of improper, irresponsible execution of the social promotion concept. The converse of this situation is what’s going on over at digg, though, and that’s why I’m going to give that site major props (and some viewership) from now on. My impression is that the digg community is, by and large, responsible, intelligent, open-minded, and savvy.

And like I said earlier, reddit is full of idiots having their collective bitch fest. It’s the nerd club; the lamest frat on campus. You wanted Animal House, but instead, you got Star Wars meets black t-shirts meets black jeans meets LAN parties. Yeah, you heard me. Reddit sucks.