In case you haven’t been paying attention, the news (mostly bad) about Reddit has been rolling out almost nonstop over the past couple of weeks.

Community manager and beloved (by Redditors) staffer Victoria Taylor was fired. Interim CEO Ellen Pao was blamed. She may have been framed. Parts of the site went dark in protest. Pao stepped down. Co-founder and former CEO Steve Huffman is returning. The site may ban some content and make other content more difficult to find. Their chief engineer quit after just two months on the job.

One thing is for sure: Reddit isn’t exactly dying. It still has huge traffic and plenty of new posts every day. But once you’ve lost the trust of your community, it can be hard to get it back. Just ask the old Digg.

Most hardcore Redditors aren’t frantically looking for new sources of daily amusement. They’re already familiar with the competition, and all these sites have been around for 2-3 years. But a lot of people aren’t familiar and don’t know where to go.

Snapzu Like Reddit, but with less duplication.

I remember in my early days on Digg, there was nothing more frustrating than submitting a link to a story, only to have someone else submit another link to the same story or a similar one on another site, and that person’s submission would hit the front page and I’d get bupkus. Snapzu offers the option to add links to any “snap,” adding deeper context and information while letting the original submitter keep credit for submitting. Because that’s one of the site’s few rules, it’s a more than just nice behavior.

Other elements worth noting:

  • A site lounge, where users can congregate and chat on-site.
  • It’s probably the most attractive alternative, with two views: One that looks more like reddit and one that looks more like Pinterest.
  • A revenue-sharing option coming soon where you can earn credits for building out a tribe.
  • An XP system that helps control spam by giving people credit for being an expert in certain topics, over time. You can vet the submitter.
  • Invitation-only membership as of now.

Voat Like Reddit, with more Reddit

This is where a great many of the Redditors fleeing the site are going now. It’s gotten more buzz than anywhere else, and part of it is probably because it’s the most familiar-looking to Reddit users. It feels the most like Reddit of most of the alternatives, and that’s part of why so many are there. Moderators can only run up to 10 subverses (they’re using a lot of the same type of terminology as Reddit). On Reddit, there was no limit, and some moderators controlled a great number of high-value subreddits, which led to complaints of favoritism.

Other elements worth noting:

  • Notifications are updated in realtime
  • Any language allowed under Swiss law is fine by the site, even if others find it offensive. (I might add that Swiss law has provisions against hate speech.)
  • There’s a real-time chat box in the sidebar of each subverse.
  • A possible revenue sharing program for submitters.
  • Their logo is a goat (now you understand how to pronounce the site’s name, eh?).
  • This is Reddit’s biggest competitor at the moment.

Empeopled Looks like The Drudge Report if Matt used single-columns and used bigger headlines.

Empeopled’s smiley-face logo invokes a certain alien I know. It works, generally, like Reddit and the other alternatives above. It has a lot of topics you can follow, where you can submit articles, images and other things that strike your fancy. Duplication is not allowed, and a duplicate submission will be deleted. If you submit something on the same topic within 72 hours of the original submission, it will be deleted. A fair way to help the original submitter and not penalize submitters who beat regular users to the punch.

Other elements worth noting:

  • Activity increases your “Decibel level,” which gives you more power and authority on the site.
  • The site has a Treasury, which holds actual money, in Bitcoins. Users earn dividends, and the site’s investment committee grows it, governed in part by votes from the community as to where it should be invested.
  • Users can vote on improvements to the site, new topics, and other points of interest.
  • You can submit items where you will benefit through an affiliate account, but must disclose that when you submit.

These are not the only alternatives, just the ones that rose to the top of the discussion when I asked the folks I know who spend too much time on sites like these. And I know a lot of people who fit that description.

Disclosure: I have an account on Snapzu, but had forgotten about it until researching this article and have exactly five followers and zero submissions. I do not have accounts on either Voat or Empeopled. I have a Reddit account, but I’m not telling you my username.

Published on: Jul 17, 2015