Noah J Nelson on Thursday, Jul. 24th
Reddit, the popular link-sharing site best known to the wide world for its “Ask Me Anything” events with celebrities has always styled itself as the “front page of the Internet”. In the past few years this has proven to be apt, as the site has become a place where news junkies gather when rapidly evolving tragedies unfold.
My own first experience of this involved coming home after a screening of The Dark Knight Rises to discover the Aurora, Colorado shootings had happened. I then proceeded to not sleep but instead obsessively refresh reddit until I passed out.
The site, however, is not designed around the idea of breaking news, or at least wasn’t until a feature called “reddit live” entered beta months ago. Now the feature is being rolled out en masse. From the reddit blog post announcing the arrival:
reddit live is a new feature of reddit for real-time updates. A reddit live thread’s multiple contributors can post updates, and anyone watching gets sent those updates immediately without having to refresh. Unlike with self-post or comment based live threads, there’s no limit to how many updates can be posted during the course of an event. These live threads exist outside of subreddits and are designed to be submitted, like any other link, to whichever (multiple) subreddits are relevant to the thread. Pictures, video, and more can be embedded in the updates by simply pasting a link.
The feed rolls in reverse chronological order, which is how any sane news live blog is organized. What the feature doesn’t do is prevent rampant speculation and ham-fisted amateur sleuthing from occurring. That feature-set is expected sometime in the year 5,000,000,000 AD, when human nature is finally solved about six minutes before the sun goes supernova.