"For the most part, a lot of those early users were actually Steve and me with aliases. We had silly user names that we just generated in order to make it look like there was a diversity of users on the site," recounts Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of social news and Web community site Reddit.com.
In the four years since its founding, the site—a collection of new and interesting links from around the Web as determined entirely by user voting—has grown from a fledgling idea in a UVA dorm into one of the largest and most active communities on the Internet, and now gets over 430 million pageviews and 8 million unique visitors a month.
In his Big Think interview, Ohanian covers Reddit's transformation and sale to Conde Nast, when and how the site's community has made him most proud, and the site's notorious rivalry with link-sharing competitor Digg. He also offers up some rare and valuable advice for those aiming to reach Reddit's vaunted front page with a submitted story.
"There are cheesier things you can do like starting every headline with “Hey Reddit” so it feels a little bit more personal, but that’s not a guaranteed play. Most, most, most importantly though, you can just find great content—that’s number one," Ohanian says. "And if you really want to hustle, probably submit around 10, 11, 12—you want to get it before noon Eastern."