Sourcing with Reddit

Reddit is an aggregator of websites that can be ranked by users. It contains subreddits to categorize topics and users can comment on these. Reddit is #13 in the Alexa rank and it has 330 million monthly active users.

That’s equivalent to the total population in the US.

Here are a few tricks for sourcing with Reddit.

Search on Reddit

The most obvious interaction is to use the search.

Reddit has a great help page.

On the home page. Let’s try this query: hadoop engineer looking.

The first result says r/BigDataJobs. Not a great subreddit. It is flooded with ‘hiring’ posts and there is no user engagement.

The next section of results is better:

  • “Looking for data engineers”: 10 comments. A few people replied interested. You can research their name from their username.
  • “Old timer Java, 20y experience…”: 123 comments. A lot of great data here.

You could piggyback on someone else’s post, reply to their comments. If they are interested, you could DM them.

Reddit Investigator

I searched for a user I found on one of the previous results.

It took a few minutes to process the query. Then it showed a dashboard with a summary of this user’s activity.

  • Subreddits: A list where the user submitted a link or commented.
  • User data: name, ID, other basic data
  • Karma data: number of links, number of comments, L/C ratio (links/comments)
  • Link data: Most upvotes, best, worst, karma/link
  • Comment data: Upvotes, downvotes, best, worst, karma/comment
  • Most active hours graph
  • Number of submissions per domain
  • Fun guessed data

The website also has an FAQ that explains where the data is coming from.

Reddit metrics

With this tool you can find metrics for subreddits:

  • Fastest growing
  • Top new reddits
  • New reddits trending
  • New subreddits by day

I’d like to know more about this subreddit: Cscareerquestions

  • It shows a subscriber growth graph with some spikes. One day in June of 2017, it added 2,600 members.
  • Milestone 200K subscribers in July 2019.

The subreddit has a lot of engagement. The top post shows:

  • Resume Advice Thread – August 20, 2019
  • 137 comments

Many of the comments have a link to a resume. Some are anonymized. If you have good sourcing skills you could figure out their names and contact details.

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Reddit User Analyzer

This tool shows user analytics with a great user interface. The query was processed much faster than Reddit Investigator.

Basic data:

  • Joined Reddit 11 years ago
  • 478 comments, 36 submissions, 1.7% controversial, 2 karma/comment

English-based text analysis:

  • Kindness Meter: 97% (calculated through controversy and text analysis)
  • Text Readability: Low (calculated with the Flesch formula)

The other common sections:

  • Top subreddits
  • Most frequently used words
  • Comment activity over time
  • Comment karma over time

Reddit tools from Github

Here is a list of popular Reddit tools found on Github

Newsletterbot

It sends a newsletter to users when their favorite subreddit has a new post.

Browse Reddit from Terminal

If you are into coding, this is a great interface to view and interact with Reddit from the terminal.

Reddit Analytics

If you know JavaScript, you can customize your own Reddit analytics dashboard.

Reddit Downloader

It can extract media from submissions and comments. It requires basic Python knowledge to install.

Reddit’s search provides a lot of opportunity to source data. You can also try a few free tools to complement this search or use some technical tools to extract more data.

I love computers. My favorite tools are Linux, Python, Azure and AWS. I have two engineering degrees. Built teams at Sears. Now at WalmartLabs. Growing teams in Walmart eCommerce for machine learning, data science, data engineering and product management.

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