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<Brennen> I think social bookmarking sites, of which reddit is the cleanest, smartest, and most usable model I've found, distill a peculiar property of the Internet's traffic with our brains. In theory, they aggregate interests and filter for quality. In reality, they filter for things which give us a tiny little hit of the neurotransmitters we've become so addicted to. The tastes of particular userbases on particular architectures might vary, but there is an underlying sameness to all of it. reddit's mechanism is (broadly) a more refined version of Slashdot's, and Slashdot was always a more refined version of the loop between your television, your brain, and the remote in your hand.
Further, UserModeratedComments and KarmaConsideredHarmful.
<Brennen> Changing my mind a little on this one; the basic point may stand, but I think there's also something very specific to text-based internet-carried communications going on here. Some relevant thoughts from Alan on October_4_2006:
:after all, one could argue that these forms all forked via a now rather arbitrary discretization along the axes of realtime-ness and access control. i.e. 2-way chat is like fast email. blog is like email readable to the world. wiki is like blog organized by idea space instead, of by idea time. wiki is like an open-invite chat room except not real-time.
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