belated happy new year, thanks to the (not)great firewall of vietnam

Fun fact: and all blogspot blogs are blocked in Vietnam. While this is mildly inconveniencing for the traveler, for Vietnamese, this kind of censorship must be quite frustrating -- not just because they can't read my blog. Combine Vietnam's rapid development with the growing global movement for Internet freedom and I'm certain the government will find this censorship harder and harder to maintain. And that's a great thing.

Anyway, here's a recap of reddit news from the last couple of weeks:

We continued our well-publicized love affair with Treehuger, which published its top 25 reddited stories of 2008.

There were some epic Zune pun threads on reddit thanks to an epic Zune failure. The Guardian reported on the pun-tastic behavior, as did CrunchNotes.

The LATimes found the modern hobo code traveling up the reddit front page.

And Gizmodo reported on the greatness of the Yoshimoto Cube, which bubbled up on science.reddit.

instant quaker reddit

zachalexander just created a quaker reddit for the online Quaker community. He blogged about it on his LiveJournal and thus I couldn't help but give him a shout-out here.

Best of luck growing your new reddit. Hopefully it develops as quickly as some of that instant oatmeal. I have a feeling there won't be many flamewars or trolls on a Quaker reddit.

Remember, zachalexander, you can customize the look of your reddit with a little CSS, or simply change the logo. Not that I have any suggestions...

an extra serving of holiday mirth

FeedANeed is kicking ass and taking names -- literally (well, only the second part, that's how we sign up all our volunteers and non-profits). Erik is doing some great work, but that would obviously be moot if it weren't for our community, which has responded so enthusiastically.

And I can't say enough about the job a bunch of Canadian geeks did with HoHoTO. In fact, I thought I'd said everything here on the breadpig blog. But here it is again, just because I'm so impressed by how a disparate group of people can mobilize and do some good so quickly and efficiently.

I'm actually feeling good about 09.

JoelOnSoftware gets a neat redesign - with a few blurry aliens

Joel got a redesign. It's pretty hip. It features a header with a huge picture of the FogCreek offices. And if you look closely in the upper-left corner...

I'm waiting to get some conclusive numbers back, but I'm almost certain those bobbleheads have increased FogCreek productivity significantly. Thanks for not cropping them out, Joel.

And a thanks to Mike, an avid Spolsky reader, for first pointing this out.

reddit is trying to make the world suck a little less again this december

One year ago it was the reddit-xkcd fundraiser for the EFF (as chosen by the greater reddit community). This year, it's Feed A Need.

The economy sucks and we know that. More to the point, Erik realized that, so when he joined reddit, he came armed with a radical new idea for this year's fundraiser.

It wouldn't even be a fundraiser. It would be a skill-raiser.

To quote blog.reddit:

This holiday season, is launching its first Feed A Need project. Instead of asking for monetary donations, we're asking people to donate a few hours of their skills & energy. So if you are a programmer, designer, artist, lawyer, geology professor, bacon cooker, or anyone else with a few hours to spend for a good cause please consider participating in this year's Feed a Need charity drive.

And from these volunteers, a chunk will be randomly selected to win a range of prizes - including an XBOX 360 (with games) from Destructoid and autographed XKCD goodies. Of course, none of these great prizes will compare to that feeling you get from volunteering some of your time and skills. But they are nice.

deadspin gets a redesign, blames reddit

How touching. Deadspin got a very reddit-esque redesign
Yeah, yeah. I know. You're looking at this page and thinking 'when the hell did Deadspin turn into Reddit?'

But relax. What you're seeing right now is the "condensed" version of the front page. This whole thing is done to make the Deadspin reading experience more enjoyable, especially for people who just like to skim headlines and pretty photos of Steve Young getting bopped in the face with a plastic cup.
Aww, shucks. Thanks for the shout-out, DAULERIO.

I think it'd be worth asking Nick why you don't have reddit buttons yet...

We've got an up and coming sports.reddit, you know. Don't worry, I'm not going to tell it -- it's sensitive.

bostonist is reading reddit (appropriate, given we're a boston - er, somerville - founded company)

Yes, we were happy to read that students in Massachusetts are defying the overall American trend of math and science failure.

Bostonist nailed it in this recent entry, Mass Kids Smarter than Scottish Schoolchildren, Slightly Dumber than Singaporeans:
Unfortunately, the US as a whole still lags behind at 539, which could mean that while we won the race to the Moon, even Latvia could beat us to Mars. Here's hoping that with a sitting president in office who values math (read: won't insist on manipulating data to suit his needs) and science (read: doesn't believe that humans and dinosaurs shared caves back in the old days) these scores will improve. Until then, Reddit readers may continue to vote this story up as proof that the liberals of Massachusetts are, in fact, smarter than the rest of the country.
Sure, redditors were no doubt upvoting this with gusto, but despite the misleading reddit headline, this has little to do with ideology (left or right) and more to do with a heightened focus on math and science education.

That, and I bet all of those kids who skewed up the average are hardcore redditors...

the secret is out

I take it as a compliment that people still get surprised we're not just "some dudes in their basement." A redditor named oddasudda just realized we'd been acquired.

We've tried to maintain the feel of a small site and Condé Nast has gone out of their way to not intervene with how we operate reddit. As a result, the site has continued to grow and we continue to have disappointed redditors learn we've got health insurance and work in an office.

And we've even open sourced!

In fact, we're still learning about our own users, who volunteered to share a bit about themselves on this ask.reddit: Who Are You?

going to be in new york on january 24th? you should be

Mark your calendar for the first ROFLThing of 2009: January 24th, 2009. New York will never be the same.

Not only will it be as epic an event as the first ever ROFLCon of last April, it's also going to be hosted by me. I'm still trying to decide on a costume, but I have a feeling this is an event you wont want to miss.

It's the same ROFLtastic team who brought you all those other flavors of ROFL, only this one is going to be in the New York city, which means LOLcats doing lines off strippers and TronGuy brawling with Naked Cowboy (TronGuy wins, easily).

They generously announced it on the ROFLBlog, but you should probably see my moderation of the LOLcats panel that sealed the deal.

And then watch this clip from the original ROFLCon in Cambridge: