Reddit is a social news and entertainment site that’s become very popular with over 6,000 topic-specific pages. Registered users submit content in the form of links or text posts. Users then vote submissions “up” or “down” to rank the post and determine its position on the site’s pages. Content entries are organized by areas of interest called “subreddits”. Navigating Reddit can be a daunting task due to its enormity.
Michigan State University Assistant Professor Zachary P. Neal and computer science Ph.D. student Randy Olson created an interactive online visualization tool, called Redditviz, to provide a lens with which to probe the complex web of pages found on Reddit. The tool maps the subreddits in relation to one another, not using the site’s own links, but drawing from actual user behavior data. What results is a network diagram where communities of similar individuals are easily visible. Each node represents a subreddit, with nodes colored according to how many others they link to and sized according to the number of posts in the subreddit. Here is a visualization of the term “machinelearning:”