This weekend my 16 yr old son, Gabe, and I went to Johnson City, Tennessee,
to empty out my father’s house – my dad is moving out at the age of 81
and needed help with clearing, cleaning, and moving his stuff out.

While we were there Gabe turned me  onto Reddit.  It
reminded me of the time we traveled together to one of my speaking gigs
in 2007 and he showed me how to use Facebook. A whole new world opened up.

Reddit is a forum for the world, with conversations on everything
imaginable.  There are around 115 million unique visitors to
Reddit every month. Of course, it has it’s own lingo. A category (like
world news or humor or movies or art or…) is called a subreddit. Anyone can create a
subreddit – there are almost 8,000 right now. 

Three of my favorite subreddits so far include:
Today I Learned – where people start off every
entry with TIL
Data Is Beautiful – where you can learn from all
kinds of data analysis including interesting visualizations.
Out of the Loop – here you can ask to be caught up
or educated on anything – very cool

It’s a lot wilder than many social media sites, with almost any topic
and category allowed. You don’t have the same kind of censorship that
Facebook provides, for example. Almost any topic is welcome. There are
five inviolable rules
– breaking any of them will get you banned:
1. Don’t spam.
2. Don’t ask for votes or engage in vote manipulation.
3. Don’t post personal information.
4. No child pornography or sexually suggestive content featuring minors.
5. Don’t break the site or do anything that interferes with normal use
of the site.

There is reddiquette.
It includes things like, Remember
the human. When you communicate online, all you see is a computer
screen. When talking to someone you might want to ask yourself “Would I
say it to the person’s face?” or “Would I get jumped if I said this to
a buddy?”

I posted a question there last night and had
the answer in less than 2 minutes:

[Star Trek] What
keeps the starships from hitting things at warp speed?

Starships have FTL (Faster Than Light) sensors and a Deflector Dish.
The Deflector Dish will send out an energy pulse to move objects in the
ships path out of the way. This includes space dust and objects up to
to a certain size. Anything that can not be deflected, the ship will
change course to avoid. Warp Drive is a real space FTL so the sensors
have to work FTL as well or else ships would be blind while at warp.

Pretty handy to have a place to ask anything
you want and get an answer so fast.

It’s a great location to see what the world is up to, what’s trending,
in almost any category.

There is no end to education. It is not
that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education.
The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die,
is a process of learning..

Jiddu Krishnamurti