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Reasons Conde Nast bought Reddit: 1, 2, 3...

Conde Nast has bought Reddit, the news community / aggregator for an undisclosed sum. Actually the purchase is by Wired, online culture's long-time thought leading web and print title, which belongs to Conde Nast.

According to figures quoted on TechCrunch, the site gets 70,000 daily visitors and about 700,000 page views, less than a tenth of what Digg was claiming back in June.  

But numbers aren't all when it comes to social media, as we know. Reddit has a large enough community to make it a smart buy for Wired for the following reasons:

1. Aggregators are key to distribution: If you're an editor, Digg, Newsvine, Reddit et al are excellent for attracting readers to your best stories - often giving more attention than search engines or links from your main news sites. I spoke to a few trade and business title editors recently and aggregators were very much front of mind for them.

Good findability for search engines, regular visitors, subscriber bases (print, email, RSS) are all ways that Wired distributes its content and attracts readers' attention at the moment. But aggregators are now a very important online distribution method indeed for online publishers - owning your own, as long as you don't annoy the community has got to be useful - a guaranteed channel for your publications.

2. Understanding and insight: making sense of how this stuff works is of incalculable value for publishers. Studying how major stories spread across networks recently, I noticed often that aggregators like Reddit, Newsvine, Digg and Tailrank were dotted through the networks prominently and almost regularly,

3. Aggregation is a great way of being useful to your networks: If you can aggregate good content, good links to content on a niche subject or subjects you make yourself useful to your networks. The better an editor and filter you are for your community the more attention you will receive in the form of traffic and links. Reddit may not have the scale of Digg but it is an excellent aggregator and will strengthen Wired / Conde Nast's prominence in networks (which is the name of the game in the age of networks, remember).

Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief and author of The Long Tail certainly is clear that they are buying a platform and know-how for niche news sites in a post on his blog:

To give you an example of how voting-based news sites can apply to news verticals, check out Lipstick.com, which applies the wisdom of crowds, if that's the term, to celebrity news. It's an experiment that we at Conde Nast and our online side, CondeNet, have been running on the Reddit platform for most of the year, and it's given us a lot of confidence in the technology.

Good to see publishers investing in innovation like this and it will be great to see what new sites and services come out of CondeNet.



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