Innovation In Assembly: Have you Reddit ?

So, what is innovation in assembly?

Essentially, in theory, it is pretty simple. Design your web 2.0 site application in a way that is easy to be shared then provide users access to relevant parts of your source code so that they can develop programs that interact with it called “middleware”. Doing this the right way however, as many companies have discovered the hard way is not always so easy. In fact many speculate that the downfall of MySpace was the hesitation in releasing any sort of decent API, and I tend to agree with them. Amber wrote a great blog about exactly that this week, here.

Innovation in Assembly is also the third web 2.0 pattern identified by Tim O’Reily. Part of an essential 8 core set that are necessary for success in the world of web 2.0.

Front page of the internet

Front page of the internet

Many of you will be avid users of the site I have chosen this week. Why? Well it is widely touted as the “front page of the internet” just type exactly that into a Google search and see how many times it comes up. So is this considerable acclaim deserved? I think so… why? Because REDDIT does everything right. Lets look at what it offers and how it adheres to Tim O’Reily’s best practices.

(1) Offer APIs to your service

There are many different APIs available for Reddit, for almost every conceivable permutation and combination involving sharing. In fact, Reddit itself IS open source.

“We know reddit’s success has less to do with our technology than it does with you, our community, and now we want to let our community improve our technology.”  Says Reddit.

This is proof that they know it is primarily about making yourself accessible en masse.

(2) Design for remixability

There are innumerable applications available that take advantage of Reddit’s easy to share design. Information is available in all selections, combinations and sizes. The smallest quantity of information available can easily be singled out, identified and accessed.

(3) Apply API best practices

Reddit is entirely open source. They make not only make access to their program (in the form of APIs) easily accessible and customisable but their ENTIRE program easy accessible and customisable and actively encourage it. What more is there to say ?

(4) Use existing standards

Redit is available to pretty much every conceivable existing standard. Again, it is open source, it is entirely at the developers discretion.

(5) Build your business model into you API

Reddit makes most of its money by advertising. Through going open source it opens up every possibility for access. More access means more chance of someone landing on an add, and that = $ for Reddit.

(6) Use Web 2.0 to support your platform

A huge amount of communication and interaction by Reddit users online, and massive amounts of user contribution makes Reddit what it is. Reddit supplies information by users to users who want information. I think its size is due partly to the fact it is so easy to adopt, and also the fact that it rewards users in terms of status for quality.

(7) Be your own platform customer

The Reddit written API is as good as it is because of research and testing Reddit did before it was released. Reddit’s semi wiki nature means that it can stay pretty simple and probably doesn’t have much cause to use it’s own API.

(8) Granular addressability of content

Both Reddit API and custom developed programs, by utilising the open source code ensure Reddit’s Granularity is fine and information findability and remixablility are present.

(9) Use your platform to build customer trust and loyalty

What better way to command customer trust and loyalty than put it completely in their own hands. Reddit works on a ranking system and it is the public who control the rankings. Reddit just provides the space and the excellent idea.

(10) Learn from how your customers remix

Reddit is known by most web 2.0 application/platform owners on the internet and is very widely shared. Reddit’s information and presentation is intentionally made available to be fully customisable at the whim of a developer.

So have you Reddit? Do you think this is a site that has it right?


5 thoughts on “Innovation In Assembly: Have you Reddit ?

  1. Interesting post, i never heard about reddit before, my first impression when i visit the page is that BAM you get a whole ton of information and the layout is kinda bad..but its quite a good way to get up to date with “the front page of the internet” from one application. The API offered also will no doubt be used in creation and implementation of various applications.

  2. Hi Adam,

    Why do you think Reddit provides a better service over alternative sites such as Digg?


    • Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for your comment.

      I think Reddit’s popularity and notoriety as the “front page of the internet” is testament to the fact that it has that *something* people are drawn to. In answer to your question, my personal opinion is simplicity. I think Digg is cluttered and unorganized when compared with Reddit. Reddit is the latest, most popular information, well laid out and up to the second thanks to its army of contributors.

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