Reddit, crazy as it can be at times, is a great time-waster - no argument there. And while it's fun to browse /r/videos and /r/aww during occasional bits of downtime (that turn into extended cute-animal breaks), I find the site even more captivating when I can entertain myself and feel like I'm learning something.
Photo: Jerod Harris (Getty Images)
For that, I think it's critical to find quality subreddits that can tell you a bit more about our big wide world.
Subreddits such as /r/helpmefind or /r/tipofmytongue are great for getting the crowd to help you out with random topics that pop into your head, such as "What was the bad guy's name in the Hero Quest board game?"
If you prefer style over spells, /r/findfashion is your ticket.
The classic /r/askreddit is great for your larger questions - even that stupid one about duck-sized horses - and /r/explainlikeimfive is perfect for easily digestible answers to potentially complex topics.
Here's the thing, though. I've been a Reddit user for nine years, and even I feel as though there's a whole world of content out there that I'm not seeing. From giant subreddits you might not have stumbled across yet, to tiny little communities that feature highly-detailed posts about relatively obscure topics, Reddit is a giant message board for everything and anything you could want.
And even if you search out subreddits for things you like, there's no guarantee you'll find the best one, or even a decent one. And then there are all the private subreddits and... well, it's a lot.
'Find a Reddit' is the best way to learn about new subreddits
Thankfully, some crafty Reddit user created /r/findareddit/, which starts to make one's browsing feel a bit like Inception. You'll want to bookmark this subreddit and visit regularly, because it's a great gathering place where people can bring up topics they're interested in and receive a crowd-sourced list of subreddits they might want to check out.
Screenshot: David Murphy
My favourite so far? The commenter asking whether there is a subreddit "for cats. Not of cats... but for them." As in, a subreddit that catalogues different images (and videos?) of birds, fish, tumbleweeds, and all the other things that capture a cat's attention for a few minutes, which cat owners can then show their pets to keep them entertained. (Sorry, dog owners.)
Other examples that piqued my curiosity include:
- Is there a reddit that users recommend historical fiction books?
- Car Advice for People Who Know Nothing About Cars
- Is there a sub that will help you make your lame PC into a decent one?
- A subreddit were people edit kermit the frog into movie scenes?
- Is there a subreddit of when an LED sign has a letter or a few burnout and it says something accidentally humorous.
I could go on, but I suggest going to check out the page, browse through some top requests, ask for a subreddit or two around a topic you love and, if you have an encyclopedic knowledge of Reddit, maybe suggest an answer or two for those looking for communities of their very own. Your obscure interest is another person's fandom.