Home Reddit ‘white labels’ its software to Slate

Reddit ‘white labels’ its software to Slate

news site Reddit is integrating its software into
Slate.com, the venerable Webzine currently owned by Washington Post. The goal is to give
Slate readers “a new way to find and discuss its best content.” Slate.reddit recently went live, “as the first step in
bringing the reddit format to Slate readers (integration with the Slate website is on the

Slate.reddit is populated automatically via Slate.com’s RSS feeds – so there are no
manual submissions, as on the original reddit.com. All that Slate readers need to do is
vote and comment.

I asked Alexis Ohanian what led to the deal. Alexis told me that “the relationship with Slate began when their articles started popping up on reddit shortly after we launched last June.” That was followed by numerous other front page stories on reddit, at which point emails were exchanged between Reddit management and Slate.

Reddit’s Recommendation Engine

What I like about Reddit is that it aims to be a ‘recommendation engine’. As it states
in the Help section:

“reddit is a source for what’s new and popular on the web — personalized for you.
Your votes train a filter, so let reddit know what you liked and disliked, because you’ll
begin to be recommended links filtered to your tastes.”

Personalization is of course the holy grail for Web apps, which we’ve established
before on R/WW is a difficult thing to achieve. But it does seem to be a point of
differentiation for reddit, from digg and Netscape – both of which focus more on community
recommendations rather than reddit’s personal recommendations. And reddit does have some
smart people working on this. Aaron Swartz announced today the new version of reddit’s recommendation

“One major improvement is that it’s faster than ever before — it’s practically live.
Head to your recommended page and vote on something and the recommender should whisk it
away and give you a new recommendation within seconds.”

I’ll have to test that out! In any case, it strikes me that at the very least
Slate.com will get to understand what articles on their site appeal to readers the most (provided the new reddit tool gets sufficient take-up over time).
That extra feedback loop, via reddit, will be a valuable source of data for Slate.

Alexis from Reddit told me there are some other similar white label projects in the works, but this is their first announcement. Personally I think it’s
great to see these community news apps being white labeled to media organizations, where
I’ve always felt they belonged.

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