Reddit has entered the crowdfunding game, launching Redditmade yesterday in Beta mode. A Kickstarter-like platform, Redditors can tap into the site’s large and dedicated user base to fund their projects. “Redditmade gives you the flexibility to create almost anything you want, easily raise money, and support causes you care about,” the description page reads. It’s also a way to “support a cause and other Redditors while keeping your personal information safe.”
Many campaigns have already been launched, most of these backing T-shirts depicting various subreddits’ alien logos and inside jokes among members. That community spirit extends to Reddit giving you 30 days to reach your funding goal and, unlike Kickstarter, giving you a lot of help along the way: “We’ll walk you through every step of the process, connect you to our network of quality sourcing partners, work with you on the design if necessary, promote your campaign, and oversee the production and distribution.”
It all feels very hands-on for Reddit, which traditionally doesn’t take such an involved approach with Reddit.com’s user-generated content. As one Redditor said/complained, it’s not very “Reddit-y.” There’s no up-voting or down-voting, which means content isn’t affected by the algorithms that are applied to other user-submitted content. Rather, voting here comes in the forms of pledges, with products that have garnered the highest percentage of pledges toward their totals rising to the top of the page, while the products with 0 percent (most of them, at this point) sink to the bottom of the page and into obscurity. Similar to Reddit posts, this means that the most popular campaigns are seen first and have a better chance of receiving more funding.
Each product pitch include its creator’s Reddit username and which subreddit it’s associated with, while the only interaction users have is the ability to enter their credit card information. Redditmade’s clean design also has a much more grown-up feel than the deliberately messy, anything-goes attitude imbued into Reddit’s many forums. And while any Redditor can create a campaign, Redditmade exercises more direct, top-down control over the content. There’s a “report abusive/offensive content” link to a Redditmade email address. That sort of direct feedback and the limited user interaction signals a move that Reddit’s owners are moving in a very different direction from the tenets Reddit.com is built on.