On the latest episode of The Upgrade, we're talking about the self-proclaimed "front page of the internet", the massive online community known as Reddit. For some, Reddit is a second home, a place to hang out, post links, chat and trash talk with like-minded friends and foes. For others, it's a confusing rabbit warren with its own weird rules and etiquette, a teeming hive of enthusiasts and trolls, an overwhelming curiosity that they might visit every now and then, but who has time to learn to navigate what's essentially a complex system of message boards?
Our guide is Ben Brock Johnson, the host of Endless Thread, a new podcast from Reddit and WBUR-Boston. You may know Ben from Marketplace Tech on American Public Media, which he hosted for four years, or his time as a writer for Slate. Whether you're a die-hard Redditor or a total sceptic, Ben has secrets and tips for fully experiencing all of the agony and ecstasy of that asylum where the lunatics are in charge, the sometimes magical, sometimes creepy, always fascinating Reddit.com.
This Week We Discussed
- r/personalfinance and r/legal advice: Surprisingly fascinating.
- r/AskHistorians: Don't even try to answer a question if you aren't a serious history expert.
- r/CatsMurderingToddlers: (Not actual murder, that we know of.)
- r/BirdsWithArms: What it sounds like.
- r/SpiderBro: "A place for friends of spiders, who are our bros."
- Ben's AMA: Get to know him even better.
- Reddit is "a spacious, tricked-out man cave".
- r/ABraThatFits: You're definitely wearing the wrong size.
- Insane succulent cupcakes I found when I clicked "Random".
Our Upgrades of the Week
If you like Net Hack, you might also like Dwarf Fortress.
Ben and Levi both have and love this fancy matte black thermos.
Switch your Sonos to a BOOST setup to prevent speakers from dropping out. (Yes, this involves an Ethernet cable.)