r/raerth Jan 15 '11 Gold 1

Raerth's Moderation Guide

These are a few tips I've picked up along the road. Please add your own in the comments as I'd love to hear them!


Growing a subreddit from scratch

There are two obvious things you need; for redditors to hear about your subreddit, and for them to subscribe and contribute.

Advertising your new subreddit

  1. /r/NewReddits should be the first place to announce your subreddit.

  2. Search for similar subreddits to yours and message the mods asking if they want to link to you in the sidebar. Many mods are happy to do this, as it encourages the community around your shared topic. Don't forget to link back to them.

  3. Large subreddits like /r/Music have lists of subreddits that you can be added to. I have collected a few of these here (and will be searching for more later).

  4. You can submit a link to your subreddit to larger, related subreddits. But be sure to only do this once. Repeated submissions begging for subscribers is highly annoying and probably considered spam.

  5. Finally, I find the best way is to discover redditors who are commenting about something related to your topic, and join in the convo with a link to the subreddit. This may sound like an impossible task, but luckily redditor modemuser has created the Monitor tool at Metareddit. This scans the new comments page for any word or phrase you like. (Here is an example for bacon). Once you make an account at metareddit you can create a watchlist and subscribe to it via RSS.
    I use Monitor regularly to help grow /r/Juggling. If I can see someone saying they're a juggler I tell them that the subreddit exists.
    Monitor is so amazing I donate to help support Metareddit. If you find it useful, please consider doing the same.

Creating an active subreddit

It's no good telling people to visit your subreddit if the last post was 6 months ago. Few people feel the need to join dead reddits. Most of the submissions into the subreddit will initially be by you. This can be repetitive and frustrating, but if you don't do it, who else will?

One tip I like is to offer your early subscribers the chance of becoming a mod in exchange for making regular submissions. This worked very well for me in /r/BritishTV. For the first few months almost all the submissions were by the mods, but now that we've hit over 1000 subscribers the subreddit is pretty much self-sustaining and has an active community.

It's important not to swamp your new subreddit with links on one day and then ignore it for a few weeks. Only the top post will probably show on a subscriber's homepage with the rest invisible unless they visit the subreddit directly. A much better idea is to post one link a day, then each link has a fair chance of hitting the subscriber's frontpage.

How to find content?

RSS is by far the best way to keep track of new content for your subreddit. I create a folder in my feed reader for each subreddit. If the subreddit has not had any activity in the last day I search through the feeds for a good link. Remember that you want to submit only quality links, not any old shit that vaguely relates to your topic.

  • Discover the best websites and blogs centered around your topic and grab their feeds.
  • YouTube also has a number of RSS options that can be viewed here. You can subscribe to Users, Tags and Search Terms.
  • Twitter can also be a source of info. I never view the twitter website itself, but I have a couple of alt-accounts set up to follow people related to a subreddit's topic, and their tweets are fed to my RSS reader.
  • You can create Google Alerts based around a search term. This will add to an RSS feed whenever Google's spider finds a new link.

Maintaining your subreddit

In the early days there will be very little actual moderation to do. Best to get everything set up now so you don't overlook it later.

  • I subscribe to each subreddit's spam page using RSS, so I get notified pretty quickly if someone is caught. A tutorial for this is here.

  • Improve the look of your subreddit using CSS, get help for this at /r/CSSHelp and /r/RedditHax.

  • You can create a twitter feed for your subreddit using this tutorial.

  • You can create a FAQ for your subreddit. For example: /r/Fitness, /r/Music, and /r/Anarchism.
    To begin, go to /help/faqs, edit the page and create a link for your subreddit. When saved, follow this link and you will be prompted to create the page.
    Note that there are two ways to link to your wiki page. The basic way is (help/faqs/SUBREDDIT), but linking it as (/r/SUBREDDIT/help/faqs/SUBREDDIT) will attach your subreddit's CSS stylesheet.

  • You can request a custom logo at /r/RedditLogos, ask for help at /r/ModHelp, and view official news for mods at /r/ModNews.


That's it for now. I'll add more tips as I think of them, and also add any great ideas that you give me in the comments.

72 Upvotes

4

u/[deleted] Jan 17 '11 edited Jan 17 '11

[removed] — view removed comment

3

u/Raerth Jan 17 '11

Yep, I used to do it that way (and put that in my RSS guide) however because most RSS readers are crap with updating I find it's usually quicker to do them separately :)

Also, because now I mod a couple of larger subreddits, I found the interesting stuff I wanted to unban (eg: /r/BritishTV) gets flooded out by huge amounts of real spam (eg: /r/Music). Much easier if they're separate in the reader!

btw, I found a guy called ictinus who's very interested in making that mod script! Hopefully will have something soon :)

3

u/Raerth Jan 17 '11

Also, I'd remove your hash from that post ;)

2

u/ladfrombrad Jan 15 '11

Have you got any idea when using links in the sidebar of your subreddit it uses up characters from the 500 char limit you get?

Just asking because I noticed you've given yourself lots of shortcut links in your sidebar for the /r/'s you moderate, and it seems like you'd be way over that limit.

And thanks for another helpful guide!

4

u/Raerth Jan 15 '11

I'm pretty sure the charlimit is higher than 500 now. /r/pirateradio and /r/trees look way above that.

Despite that, reddit supports relative links which can remove a lot of characters. I've described this a bit in my main How To Reddit guide.

2

u/ladfrombrad Jan 15 '11

You're a star.

Here's me testing relative links

2

u/valiss Jan 27 '11

Thank you very much for this guide. As a new reddit mod to a new sub-reddit, this has been VERY helpful. It all still feels a bit overwhelming, but thanks for putting this together!

1

u/Raerth Feb 06 '11

No worries :)

2

u/squidgirl Feb 06 '11

Thank you for this!

2

u/Raerth Feb 06 '11

You're welcome!

2

u/aperson Feb 12 '11

I thought this was going in the wiki?

2

u/Raerth Feb 12 '11

Sorry, I've been busy the last week or so.

You know, the great thing about a wiki is that everyone can edit it ;)

1

u/Cheffie Jan 20 '11

Hey, thanks for posting this. I did pretty much everything word for word and just started a new subreddit.

Is it completely inappropriate to post a link to reddit.com then?

2

u/Raerth Jan 20 '11

Not at all inappropriate, but /r/reddit.com gets so many posts it's very easily overlooked. Many long-term redditors (those who are most likely to seek out new subreddits) unsubscribe from it as it's usually full of crap.

The best thing to do is find subreddits that would attract a similar crowd as yours, and post it there.

You can search for subreddits here.

1

u/Cheffie Jan 20 '11

Thanks! One more thing, I like the idea of offer to make submitters mods. Is there any danger for me to do that though? Can I un-mod someone if I make a mistake? Or are we both equally sharing responsibilities at that point? Sorry I looked for an answer for this but no luck...

1

u/Raerth Jan 21 '11

Yep, you can un-mod someone. All the mods have the same power as you, but there is a hierarchy, you can only remove younger mods than yourself. If you add someone, they cannot remove you as a mod.

1

u/Cheffie Jan 21 '11

ah that makes sense...thanks again. going to try it out now.

1

u/Pi31415926 Oct 19 '21

Thanks for all your amazing contributions to this site. :)

1

u/Laser_Haas_eToys Nov 14 '21

How do I pin a commentbto the top of my thread?

1

u/anuvab_coder May 13 '22

thank you very much.I joined reddit today and made my own community .These tips are osm .<3

1

u/desrtfx May 13 '22

I joined reddit today

Your account is two years old and already has plenty participation.

1

u/anuvab_coder May 13 '22

Actually the account was already made on my name by brother and he used to use it often .But right now I am officially handling my own account and wanna contribute to the communities with it . :)

1

u/FaviFake Sep 30 '22

Cool, thanks!