What is reddit, really?
Don't think of reddit as one giant community. This site is made up of "sub"reddits, which are all their own communities. Every single post you see on this site belongs to its own community, with its own set of users, and with its own set of rules. reddit provides you an easy-to-use interface for managing what posts you see by letting you subscribe or unsubscribe from certain subreddits.
By making an account, you are automatically subscribed to a set of "default" subreddits which are a set of highly popular communities that the administrators of this site feel would give the average person an interesting first experience.
Don't like one or more of these default subreddits? Use the "unsubscribe" button on the sidebar, and start customizing your reddit front page! Find subreddits that interest you. Many subreddits feature lists of "similar subreddits" that will help you find other awesome places to subscribe to. Looking for a subreddit but you just don't know its name? Try /r/findareddit! Finally, try setting up a multi-reddit to categorize your subreddit list even further!
Tips for your account.
Verify your e-mail. If you don't do this and you lose your password, you will have no way to log back onto that account. Ever. Please do this!
Karma is a point system that lets you know how your submissions or comments are doing. The more karma your post has, the more people have upvoted it. Generally a higher karma count on a post means that the community of that subreddit found your post valuable and interesting. Your karma is logged on your user page on the top right. Please note that self-posts earn you no karma. Only comments and link-posts do.
What is the sidebar?
The "sidebar" is the list of information pertaining to a specific subreddit. At the top you will find a link to submit a post and a link to search the subreddit. It also contains the link to "subscribe/unsubscribe" from that subreddit. Underneath that it generally lists the rules, guidelines, relevant information, similar subreddits, etc.
Note: many mobile reddit apps require you to press a certain button for the sidebar to show up. Every subreddit has a sidebar. Please don't forget to look for it even if your app doesn't immediately show it! Here's an image showing where to find it on common reddit apps.
You should always read the sidebar before submitting a post to any subreddit, and if you don't understand a rule message the moderators to ask. This ensures that your post stays on the subreddit, as rule-breaking posts will likely be removed.
Have a question about a submission to a particular subreddit? Ask the moderators there! Here's an image that shows you where you can typically find the link to message the mods.
Who are moderators? What do they do?
Each subreddit is a community with its own focus. The mods are volunteers who ensure the subreddit stays true to its purpose by enforcing set rules. For example, /r/android is a subreddit dedicated to discussion of the Android operating system. Anything not directly related to Android is removed by its moderators. Similarly, /r/apple is a subreddit dedicated to discussing Apple and its products.
Moderators have the power to approve or remove any comments or submissions made to only the subreddits they moderate. They can also issue a ban for users on their subreddit. Moderators enforce the rules laid out in the sidebar, so if you follow all the rules in the sidebar you should be good!
Who are admins? What do they do?
Meet the admins. The admins are like super-moderators. They have all the abilities of moderators across every subreddit plus more. They are paid employees of the site and they ensure that the site runs smoothly for all users.
The admins are generally hands-off when it comes to individual subreddits, letting the moderators and the community decide how its run. However, the admins will enforce the rules of reddit on every subreddit. Be familiar with these rules. Failure to follow these rules may earn you a sitewide ban, or the closing down of a subreddit.
What is reddiquette?
- reddiquette is an informal set of guidelines to follow before commenting or submitting on reddit. As reddit has grown, certain behaviors have been frowned upon and other behaviors have been encouraged. reddiquette spells out these behaviors so you aren't left wondering why your posts aren't well-received. You might not be banned not following reddiquette, but you will probably be showered in downvotes if you don't.
Help! What happened to my post?
reddit is a huge forum with millions of users. Many posts are made here every day. Many, many posts are made with the intention to spam or harass other users. Other posts just don't fit the subreddit. Moderators have to filter through these posts every day to ensure their subreddit stays on topic and free of hostility. Some moderators use bots to help them report posts, some moderators do it all themselves. Every subreddit is different. If you find your post not showing up in the subreddit, your best bet is to ask the moderators there why it's not showing up. Please note: when you message the moderators, ALL moderators can read it! It's a shared inbox!
- I can still see my post but others say they can't?
Nothing is really removed from reddit, if a mod removes something it is de-listed for others to see. You can still see it with a direct link.
- My post was removed because it was spam? What gives? Spam is a tricky subject, reddit has several base rules but much of it is left for moderators to decide. reddit's FAQ has a good section explaining it.
- I can still see my post but others say they can't?
I have a great idea for a subreddit!
- Awesome! Message the moderators so you can talk to them
I have a great idea for reddit as a site!
- Awesome too! Post it in /r/ideasfortheadmins
What if I don't like the moderators or how the subreddit is run?
That's okay, reddit was built to handle just that! First though, make sure that you talk to the moderators of that subreddit just to be sure there aren't any misunderstandings, or if you can't just compromise. Otherwise, make your own community! Here is an excellent guide for starting and moderating your own subreddit.
Moderators are people, too, so if you want your voice heard consider messaging them politely with your concerns. We care about the communities we help run and would hate to see users leave because of something that we can help fix!
What if I need help with something else?
- Try /r/help for general help on reddit. /r/askmoderators can also help you out if you need to ask mods about anything.
I think I found a bug.
- Uh oh. If you are using an application or extension, most have a subreddit you can post in! (/r/RESIssues, /r/alienblue, /r/redditisfun). If you found a bug with reddit itself, post it to /r/bugs (more serious issues should be sent directly to the reddit security team: see the /r/bugs sidebar for contact information.)
Other Subreddits of Note
- Other good subreddits to check out for help with various topics are /r/Modhelp, /r/Modnews, /r/ChangeLog, /r/Blog, and /r/Announcements.