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Reddit, to the uninitiated, can be a confusing place (actually, so can the gym or the football ground); you’ve got to contend with GIFs and 3D GIFs and then there’s 3D printing and mum’s net to get your head around. But don’t let the sprawling link-based website intimidate you. The modern jungle is perfect bluffing territory.

BUT WHAT IS REDDIT?

Reddit.com, in a nutshell, is an extremely large collection of ‘hobbyist communities’ – last month it had more than 90 million different visitors. It’s centred around two things: first, a voting system by which each link or post submitted to the site is ranked by the users, and then each individual comment is also voted on. Secondly, anyone can create and run a community on reddit, called a ‘subreddit’, for any purpose.

5 great things we learned on Reddit

  1. That you should always expect the unexpected.
  2. That some supermarkets have a sense of humour.
  3. That scam emails deliberately use poor spelling and grammar to sort the suspicious from the gullible.
  4. That in 1850, the population of California was just 8% female.
  5. That otters are an underrated species.

WHAT GOOD IS IT TO ME?

Reddit is a bluffer’s paradise. While there is a ‘greater reddit community’, it’s comprised of insufferable teenagers from the American Midwest who have just discovered  computers and Richard Dawkins. However, there are thorough and useful subreddits for every imaginable interest, from reddit.com/r/coffee to reddit.com/r/askhistorians, staffed by learned and helpful volunteers. Want to know why Americans stopped eating lamb in favour of other meats? Check out reddit. What’s more, almost all ‘hobby community’ subreddits like these will have an extensive selection of FAQs and introductory articles for the new visitor on the right side of the page. A short time in, one of these sidebars will give you all the basic rules and terminology to bluff on its subject to your heart’s content. Furthermore, everybody’s votes count the same, so the regulars of a subreddit are generally happy to help a newcomer with any questions that arise.

WHAT ARE THE BEST SUBREDDITS?

Reddit.com/r/IAMA

The size of reddit and the emphasis on quality created by its voting system have attracted big names to drop in, and r/IAMA is where they do it. Previous visitors have included Barack Obama, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Monty Python. AMAs should be about: something uncommon that plays a central role in your life, or a truly interesting and unique event.

Reddit.com/r/male or femalefashionadvice

Appearance is a critical part of bluffing, and falling down on your fashion bluffs will ruin your credibility as a bluffer. Thankfully, reddit has arguably the best introductory fashion communities on the internet.

Reddit.com/r/sfwporn‎

The SFW Porn network SFW here stands for ‘Safe for Work’ – SFW Porn refers to beautiful or fascinating images. The network is a set of subreddits including those devoted to ‘earthporn’, ‘carporn’, ‘historyporn’ and even ‘mushroomporn’.

Reddit.com/r/fitness

Good fitness advice and motivation is hard to find at the best of times. Reddit’s community is not only helpful and knowledgeable, but includes many specialist subreddits such as r/running, r/bicycling and r/weightroom.

Reddit.com/r/photography

Photography’s a difficult subject for bluffers, with all those ISOs and DSLRs and so on. Reddit’s community is a great source of links and advice, including their huge collection of tutorials at r/photoclass2013.

MAXIMUM BLUFFING VALUE

Reddit represents the high point of a long series of link-aggregating websites, such as Digg and Metafilter, which are considered a crucial component of the user-driven Web 2.0. Much like Roman architecture, Renaissance art, and other high points in human history, it’s largely used to share pictures of cute pets.

DO SAY ‘It’s amazing how the internet allows like-minded people to collaborate and share.’

DON’T SAY ‘Does anybody actually find all these reddit in-jokes funny?’

 

Happy Bluffing!

Mark Kumleben

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