For those of you who are unfamiliar with reddit, it’s a social bookmarking site much like Digg. It’s got a smaller user base but, in my experience, there is a different atmosphere or feeling amongst it’s users. It’s a lot more friendly in the comments section.
Despite it’s smaller user base I’ve had posts on some of my sites receive as much as 50,000 hits a day, so the traffic it sends is not something to be dismissed lightly.
Yet, despite my praise of reddit, I do have issue with them, and my biggest problem is that they actively encourage hot-linking.
If you visit the the “pics” section of reddit you will clearly see the following guidelines posted on the right hand side bar:
- NSFW or nudity containing posts should be marked as such, or will be banned. SFW marking is optional for posts with ambiguous titles.
- Do not put URLs in your images
- Direct links to images are preferred. No blogspam.
Lets look at this from the bottom up. Reddit encourages their users to link directly to the images on your blog. If you’ve created that image, shot that photograph or spent time crafting a post around that image well you can forget about anybody seeing your site or your post.
All they will see is the image.
Reddit will use your bandwidth to show thousands of people your image without so much as a link back or a thank you.
Let’s say you have a 200kB image that gets submitted to reddit and is seen 50,000 times. That’s 10,000,0000 kB or 9765.625MB or 9.53674 Gigs.
That’s over 9.5 Gigs of your bandwidth used up, most likely without you even knowing it until you check your bandwidth logs and receive your bandwidth bill.
Forget about the adverts you run on your site paying for your bandwidth because nobody will see them. Nobody will click through to your other posts. Most people will never even be aware of what site the image came from.
So greedy and selfish is reddit, that not only do they want to use your bandwidth to show your images to their users, they don’t even want you to be able to have your URL in your image in the vague hope that somebody might type it in to the address bar and check it out.
How dare you want any credit for your own work! How dare you!
When an image is submitted there isn’t a single link back to the originating site. If you submitted an image from this site the only links associated with that image would be the one directly to the image itself and one to search for more images from the originating domain.
That sucks. That’s encouraging bandwidth theft and hot-linking. It’s leeching off of bloggers without so much as the courtesy of a link back.
That’s so cheap that if reddit were at a gay orgy they would be the only ones refusing to give a reach around.