'groundskeepers' of the Internet - a chat with @hueypriest

“In general, the vast majority of really good ideas or things that happen on Reddit happen without our involvement,” Mr. Martin said.

“We definitely see ourselves as groundskeepers or plumbers or janitors — take your pick of someone working behind the scenes … We try to be agnostic with the content and say, here’s an area where you can go.”

Well said, sir!

Great recap of my talk at @Georgetown

He also took the opportunity to thank the students with habits of procrastination. “Last month Reddit had 35 million unique visitors and 2.5 billion page views,” he said. “All of you are very unproductive; thank you so much for that.”

Ohanian also noted that many of the representatives voting on the bills had a very unclear view of what they actually did. “The laws had very broad and very vague language. The language was clearly not written by technologists, it was clearly written by lobbyists,” he stated. Seeing this, Ohanian decided to involve himself in the politics of the situation as it became clear that the issue needed attention from Internet activists. Through collaborative efforts between Ohanian and other business leaders, awareness was created that rippled across the entire country.

With a picture of Gandalf Greyhame from Lord of the Rings behind him, Ohanian said, “All of us on the Internet simply said, these bills shall not pass. We’ve shown that we can be against terrible legislation.”

I'm so happy Gandalf got his shoutout, too.

How One Response to a Reddit Query Became a Big Budget Flick (via @WIRED)

Now, in response to The_Quiet_Earth’s question about time-traveling marines, Erwin started typing. He posted his answer in a series of comments in the thread. Within an hour, he was an online celebrity. Within three hours, a film producer had reached out to him. Within two weeks, he was offered a deal to write a movie based on his Reddit comments. Within two months, he had taken a leave from his job to become a full-time Hollywood screenwriter.

Although Erwin’s success is unprecedented, it’s entirely consistent with Reddit’s ethos. The site was purposely built to make instant heroes of the funny and the artful. It was created in June 2005 by a pair of recent University of Virginia graduates, Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman. At first, Ohanian and Huffman didn’t have any users, so they made dozens of bogus accounts and posted content themselves. “We just wanted to create a place where you could find what was interesting online,” Ohanian says. “All Steve and I knew early on was that we were going to need a community to make it work.”

If this is what the future of talent discovery looks like, I'm excited.