Have you been following the Internet, lately? Its self-declared home page, reddit.com, has been splattered all over the news after the interim CEO, Ellen Pao, caused a major uproar and finally had to resign.
If you’ve never been there, the idea of reddit is neither new nor innovative. Its users are grouped into named categories, called subreddits. They can post entries to the subreddits, and other users can vote them up or down. When you then go to the subreddit, the entries that have been viewed most favorably are on top.
This is an old idea. Slashdot, a site devoted to geeks, has been working like this for a very long time. Digg, which seemed to be advancing towards the top of the Internet, was pretty much the same as reddit. While the former is still limping along, the latter was sold at a fire sale and turned back to irrelevance.
It’s not only news selection sites that are affected, though. The same happened to places like MySpace, which ruled the Internet for a while and then disappeared into oblivion, to be rapidly replaced by Facebook. Interestingly, while the two sites came from completely different angles, they ended up being pretty much the same in the end.