reddit today announced that it will allow its users to completely modify the CSS for their custom reddits, as well as pointing those sub-reddits to any domain they would like. You can now also choose your own header image and replace the reddit alien with your own creation. After opening up the sub-reddits and open-sourcing its code, this is yet another radical (but logical) step, and reddit's users are likely to greet it with joy.The social news and bookmarking site
For those who already have established communities on reddit, being able to point your own domain to reddit without having to host the open source version of the service yourself is a great step forward. Also, being able to customize your CSS stylesheets gives you the opportunity to make reddit fit into the design of your own brand. This makes using reddit a lot more palatable for those with established names who would like to experiment with social news sites, but shied away from it so far.
Reddit definitely doesn't seem to be afraid of giving up control. In the end, though, this move is only going to help it grow its audience - and while the audience might sometimes not even be aware that they are looking at a custom reddit site, reddit itself will surely run advertising on those sites, so its bottom line is only going to benefit from this.
One thing reddit doesn't allow you to do, though, is to create your own voting algorithm - though judging from the direction the developers have been moving in lately, this is probably only a question of time.
Also, reddit has announced a contest for those who want to start their own community on reddit. Whoever manages to create the largest sub-reddit within the next month can take away a Macbook Air and a reddit bobblehead.
Reddit Keeps Growing
Reddit also announced that they have seen a 300% increase in subscribers and subscriptions since unveiling their latest redesign in May.
While reddit is still much smaller than Digg or Yahoo Buzz, it is definitely driving the development of its site forward a lot faster, and, at the same time, pushing its competitors to become more open and creative as well. While Digg is trying to keep very tight control over its service, reddit is moving in the opposite direction and judging from the numbers cited in this announcement, it is working out quite well for them.