Reddit is a user-driven community whose business model depends on the submissions of its members. The model works as it should when a Redditor shares something clever, funny or otherwise useful found while surfing the web. Submitting original content, however, can be difficult due to the site’s existing guidelines as it pertains to spam.
Reddit publicly addressed the matter a few months ago and asked for feedback regarding a solution. They’ve now come up with a tentative idea that could solve the issue and make Reddit work for content creators, community members and as a website.
Much of the problem involves determining what is and isn’t spam. A submission deemed as spam by Reddit's rules may not be considered spam by a particular subreddit. What’s more, what is considered spam in one community is not spam in the next. For this reason, moderator input should be part of the solution.
The first step in the proposal would involve somehow identifying a content creator – perhaps they’ve been banned for self-promotion in the past or are new to the site and want to identify themselves as a content creator.
Once identified, Reddit would review their account based on a number of criteria that could include where they submit, how well received their content is, community interaction and so on.
If deemed appropriate, Reddit would collect a small fee from the member and tag the submission as “self-promotional.” The fee could be a one-time deal or a recurring payment – that part hasn’t been hammered out yet. Self-promotional posts will only be allowed in specific subreddits at the moderators’ discretion.
When a self-promotional post is submitted, it will enter a queue that’s only visible to moderators. At this point, moderators can determine if the submission is appropriate for their subreddit. If so, it’ll be published and tagged as self-promotional (perhaps with flair or special coloring); if rejected, it’ll be sent to spam.
Do you think such a system would be effective? Granted, it wouldn’t work for every subreddit such as those that deal specifically in user content like art and it would be an issue for those that don’t earn revenue from hits to their site. Furthermore, who would moderate the moderators that also happen to be content creators?
Let us know what you think in the comments below.