Fri Jul 1 00:33:30 PDT 2011

how to make reddit suck less

Reddit's a pretty cool site. Well, parts of it are. Unfortunately, those parts are pretty obscure, and the Reddit that the vast majority of its users see is more or less pure shit. Here's what the front page of Reddit looks like to someone who isn't logged in.

"Funny" youtube videos, "funny" comics, shriekingly partisan political news, crap, crap, crap. Reddit is not, in fact, a terrible site where the SNR approaches zero, but you wouldn't know it from this screenshot. We can do quite a lot better than this.

First, create an account. It's pretty damn easy, and you don't even need to provide an email address.

Now click on the "EDIT" link in the the top right corner of the screen. This will take you to the subreddit editing page.

Subreddits are the lego blocks of Reddit. Each one is dedicated to a certain topic, and if a link in a subreddit gets enough upvotes, it bubbles up to the front page, where millions of people immediately crush whatever webserver is being linked to. Unfortunately, the default subreddits all have hundreds of thousands of subscribers, and are all absolutely terrible. So let's unsubscribe from them all.

There won't be a lot left. In fact, at the time of writing, doing this resulted in nothing on the front page. While this has a certain "we had to destroy the village in order to save it" appeal, you probably actually want to see stuff when you go to Reddit. So I suggest subscribing to:

And a screenshot of what it looks like afterwards:

Beauty. But we can do better!

In my experience, links to imgur, youtube, or are always crap. Reddit doesn't let you block links to certain domains, but Reddit Enhancement Suite does. Go there, and install it. Now click on [RES] in the upper right corner, go to "Configure Modules" and scroll to "filteReddit" in the drop down menu. Add the (un)desired domains in the "domains" section.

While we're changing settings, go to the standard Reddit preferences page, and set "don't show me comments with a score less than" to "10".

Congrats! You are now the owner of a much-improved Reddit.

(some subreddit recommendations credit this nerd.)

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