Last we checked in with Off Book — PBS’s web-original series exploring internet art and culture — they were delving into web-fueled artistic renaissance and the history of the animated GIF, each of which proved to be highly entertaining and informative, although I will never acknowledge “jif” as an acceptable pronunciation. Now the online series is back with an expose of the internet’s truest online community: Reddit.
It’s quite a fascinating watch, especially for those of us who recognize how influential Reddit is but don’t really get it or how it works. For all the good that is Reddit (SOPA protests, Ridiculously Photogenic Guy) equal parts bad come with a massive self-regulated community (sexism, namely) and PBS’s portrayal touches on about as much of both as you can in eight minutes, providing insight not only from Reddit founders and editors, but also anonymous moderators.
Video is slightly NSFW thanks to an assortment of screengrabs that marvelously portray the interaction on the site. And mentioning screengrabs, up top (and at the 4:22 mark) you’ll find average Reddit user statistics that pretty much epitomize my own personal love/hate relationship with the site. Feel free to draw your own conclusions.