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Social Web Field Guide

2 January 10
Launched 2005, and acquired by CondeNast in 2006, Reddit bills itself as “the front page of the Internet.” This social news site allows users to up/down vote links to content on other sites, as well as create discussion threads on any topic. Reddit’s culture tilts towards liberal, anti-corporate and anti-religious views. However, libertarian, pro-business and free market ideologies are also represented.

Launched 2004, Digg was wildly popular at first. Like Reddit, it is a social news website that allows users to up/down vote links to content on other site. The site has been criticized in the past for being dominated by superusers who game the system to enhance their influence. In 2010, Digg lost much of its credibility after a redesign was poorly received by users.

Launched 1997, Slashdot is also similar to Digg and Reddit in that users can submit articles or create discussion threads. Users can also vote on comments and articles. Slashdot’s content tends to be conversations about "nerdy" things and technology.

Craigslist Forums
Craigslist is a centralized network of online communities featuring free online classifieds. Within this network is a popular sub-section dedicated to discussion with more than 120 million user postings in 100 topical forums. Craigslist launched in 1996, and has remained virtually unchanged in function and design. The forum community is demographically diverse.

Basically the wild west of the Internet, 4Chan started out as an image and discussion board in 2003. Today, 4Chan is a massive discussion board in which many of the Internet’s most popular “memes” have originated. 4Chan’s demographic is very young, with anarchistic, chaotic, juvenile, insider-only tendencies.
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