In the series “Staying inside with…,” we pick the brains of experts and interesting people in tech to find out their favorite books, courses, movies, and podcasts they’ve been enjoying during lockdown. Steve Huffman, CEO at Reddit, is the latest to share what’s been keeping him busy whilst staying at home.
It was approximately two months ago when the world went into lockdown and since then, much of our free time has been spent resisting the urge to aimlessly scroll through social media. If you’ve had enough of Instagram’s explore page and you’re in need of some fascinating subreddits to binge-read, we’ve got you covered.
This week, we talked to the web developer and entrepreneur Steve Huffman, co-founder and CEO at Reddit, a social news aggregator, web content rating, and discussion platform which Time magazine ranks in the top 15 influential websites of all time. Huffman shared with us the five subreddits he’s been visiting during the lockdown to kill a bit of time.
“I like to check r/pan in the morning, on the long commute to my desk,” Huffman told TNW. r/pan stands for ‘Reddit Public Access Network’ and it allows users to create and stream live videos from their accounts via mobile. The live streams’ topics vary from musical performances to cooking tutorials, but also memes on a loop and dogs — a lot of dogs.
The subreddit r/OutOfTheLoop keeps Huffman up to date with what’s hot and new on reddit, on other online platforms or, more generally, in the world. In this subreddit you can find an explanation for the sudden hate towards TikTok in India, or for Trump’s fixation on hydroxychloroquine. If you can’t get your head around the latest cryptic Elon Musk tweet or why Bill Gates is being targeted by conspiracy theory channels on YouTube, r/OutOfTheLoop will provide you with an answer — and its redditors won’t judge you for being out of the loop.
“When I have more time to kill, I tend to lurk in r/CasualConversation,” Huffman shared. In this subreddit, you can start a conversation about anything that’s in your mind, and share whatever story you’re willing to tell — and there’s a lot going on in there. On r/CasualConversation you can express your preference for Irish rather than Idahoan potatoes, celebrate your birthday, and join forces with other users to try to find the biggest positive about the coronavirus lockdown.
r/TheoryofReddit is defined as a ‘mildly navel-gazing space’ in the subreddit’s original description. Its users investigate what makes Reddit communities work and what can be done on a daily basis to help make Reddit a better place. It usually focuses on data, issues, solutions, and strategies that could be addressed and implemented by Reddit’s users and moderators. In this subreddit, users compare their personal theories about why people use Reddit, why redditors think they’re so much better than other people, and what could be done to tackle the creation of subreddits focused on ridiculing other people.
This is the place where Reddit users can come and talk about fights, beef, and gossips from other subreddits and redditors. r/SubredditDrama is like gladiatorial combat for Reddit users, where all the drama is meticulously discussed and analyzed by an attentive, highly professional, and anonymous jury. And if this still isn’t enough for you, prepare your popcorn and check out r/SubredditDrama’s related subreddits: /r/internetdrama for general internet drama and /r/subredditdramadrama for drama happening within r/SubredditDrama’s users.
However, “keeping busy is usually the easy part,” Reddit’s CEO explained. His big tip for the lockdown is to figure out the best way to stay connected with people you used to only meet in person. “I’ve been trying to carve out intentional time for them,” Huffman said, “but I still haven’t completely solved it.”
Hopefully, Huffman’s subreddit suggestions will keep you busy for a while and make your lockdown a little more bearable.