Last week we looked at the growth of alternative ICO platforms to Ethereum. A vibrant community is key to sustaining rapid growth for any crypto project, especially if options for mass scale advertising are shrinking. There are several popular forum-like social networks where crypto communities are widespread, including Reddit, Steem, Hacker News, Token Daily, and BitcoinTalk.
Most of those alternative protocols, as well as many ICOs and open-source blockchain projects have a dedicated “subreddit” community on Reddit. These are forums that can be created and moderated by anyone; some crypto-related subreddits are managed by employees or volunteers on behalf of the project, and some are completely unaffiliated.
Navigating Reddit can be daunting for new users, but to crypto investors, these subreddits represent a crowdsourced, constant stream of new information. For any cryptocurrency or token you can invest serious capital in, there is almost certainly a dedicated & active community on Reddit; meaning there’s hundreds of users posting salient information every day and having threaded discussions about it.
For this reason, Reddit is a fantastic resource for finding early news and diverse opinions about digital assets and crypto communities. The site is also a space where you can gain exposure for your own projects or content — plus, one of the best features of Reddit is that the “Frontpage” is weighted in such a way to give the smallest subreddits just as much as a chance to reach “the frontpage of the Internet” as the largest. (Read more about their algorithm here.)
From a great resource on Coooins.com (h/t Yi Zu), we were able to find a snapshot of activity in 62 cryptocurrency related subreddits, including the general catch-all /r/Bitcoin community, as well as the tiny (but relatively engaged) /r/MonaCoin. By looking at the current amount of subreddit subscribers online (which Reddit reports), we can compare the relative engagement for subreddits by various sizes:
The small community of /r/bancor (4,349 subscribers) had, at the time of the snapshot, just as many users online (~660) as the larger community /r/EthereumClassic (18,515 subscribers). This means that posts made in either subreddit will be seen by roughly the same amount of users, and have the same opportunity to be seen on Reddit’s frontpage. So, if you are looking for subreddits to post in or subscribe to, don’t pass over groups with lower subscriber counts.
If you are looking for the most active subreddits, look at how long ago they were created:
There appears to be attrition in total community engagement, or the percentage of subscribers online at any given point, after about 2 years of a subreddit being created. To me, this implies that at some point, as a subreddit grows, more users begin losing interest in a project (or subreddit) than new subscribers gaining interest, leaving what is in effect an inflated total subscriber number. So the lesson is again: Don’t judge a subreddit by its size
Some more peculiarities to know about Reddit before diving in include the fact that the site’s userbase, in general, is highly suspicious of self-promotion and false information.
If a user is sharing something they’ve made, or it is from a company they work for, and the motivation for posting seems disingenuous; or, if the article a user has shared is from a compromised source, the subreddit is going to voice their anger. Sometimes, they will also act on it.
Also, keep in mind that these subreddits can be run by anyone, and that Reddit has lenient rules for how moderators can choose to run their communities. That is to say, some areas of Reddit are more rigid and curated than others, and some communities become volatile due to differences between the subscribers and moderator teams. Sometimes subreddits even “fork,” such as the offshoots of /r/Bitcoin, “/r/btc” and “/r/Bitcoin_Uncensored.”
You do not have to participate in posting or commenting on Reddit to enjoy the benefits of following the site’s communities, but I do recommend getting involved. The most helpful (and serious) community related to crypto I have found on Reddit so far is /r/ICOcrypto, which only allows text-based posts, no links.
Hope you enjoyed this primer to Reddit! You can find me on Reddit as “ky1e”; I hang around in the least serious of the crypto subreddits, /r/Buttcoin.