Social News

Social news is probably something that I would visit frequently if I had the time to do so. The content on these sites, in general, is the mindless, popular-interest kind of articles that I admit I wish I knew more. This blog will compare Yahoo! Buzz and Reddit, the seeming "almost-top dogs" in the social news market.

Yahoo! Buzz vs. Reddit

The most immediate, glaring difference between these two social sites is the format. Yahoo! Buzz has the typical, Yahoo busy-but-organized format, with neat icons that you can easily find, like so:

Reddit, on the other hand, is cluttered and minimalistic in formatting. Its headlines are simple blue hyperlinks; some aren't even titles that make sense. Voting up or down requires clicking on a simple arrow that actually was difficult for me to find:

I look at this difference in format to be quite reflective of the personality or appeal, and audience of each respective site. Yahoo! Buzz, according to the website itself, "can be about anything — from breaking stories on major news to viral videos on personal blogs." However, the majority of "what's hot" ends up being news articles. Its "what's hot" has a "mainstream" feel to it - nothing too off-color or racy, plenty of sports content, and more.

Contrarily, Reddit has, in addition to news:

  • simple posts by users (such as "I propose a new rule: until she runs for political office, Sarah Palin is an entertainer. Hence, every tiny update on her scratching her ass should go there.")
  • definitely off-color content; way more controversial headlines/opinions
  • **random funny photos that get voted up, like this one (for what it's worth, I don't condone the poor grammar, but it's funny nonetheless):

A particular aspect of Reddit that really distinguishes it from Yahoo and makes it more of a social site is the "ask reddit" type of content, where a user can "ask reddit" any question. If that question gets a lot of comments and votes, it will make it to the front page just like any news item. This really proves that Reddit has much more of a community feel to it, which is not surprising given that it's not massive like Yahoo. In fact, I'd argue that Reddit is a hybrid social news/activity site, given its internal content that users seem to embrace.

It's silly to call one "better" than the other; Yahoo! Buzz is definitely more news centered and easier to follow for Joe Schmo, while Reddit gives a more rewarding experience in terms of variety of content and its "social activity" content. I wish there could be a combination of the two…

….Oh, right. Digg. No wonder it's the most popular social site.

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