Saturday, July 11, 2015

Voat & recent events

For the past 2-3 weeks I have been giving Voat a try. Voat, for those that don't know, is something that is very similar to Reddit, but has a different mission. That's one of the easiest ways for me to explain it, anyways.

The reason why I've been trying out Voat is similar to some of the other reasons why others are trying Voat: the harsh changes that are happening to Reddit for the sole purpose of being a site that can more easily be monetized. I joined Voat after /r/fatpeoplehate was banned, along with other subreddits. I do want to go out and say that I don't endorse /r/fatpeoplehate and the like, however. 

My initial experience with Voat when I first joined was very rocky. The site was always going down and was rather unstable. I made my account and registered /v/Techtronix to reserve it in case my network ever moved there to serve as the forums. Back then there weren't as many users on Voat so I didn't engage on the site as much. 

I'm glad to say that the site does have a lot more activity, and the communities there are thriving. I know that some folks think that Voat is full of Reddit's shittiest people around but I'm here to say that it's simply not true. One of my favorite communities is /v/gaming, which is taking a different direction in how it will be ran. It won't be infested with nonsense images that won't spur any kind of (desired) discussion.

The latest news is that Ellen Pao has stepped down as Reddit CEO. A lot of people are celebrating this on Reddit (Voat as well) but I think it is very important to note that just because she has stepped down, that doesn't mean that all of the site's problems will automatically fixed and decisions reversed. Ellen Pao was a puppet in the overall agenda -- she was put in charge to push all of the unpopular changes through and was the person everyone blamed as a result. She has now done her job and she has walked out, with a nice sack of money of course. The deal couldn't be sealed without that.

Anyways, Ellen Pao stepping down isn't the topic of this post but the recent event does serve a purpose. I really hope that this move doesn't cause Voat's growth to stagnate. I think that Reddit has needed to have a real competitor for years, and Voat just might be that site if it continues to grow. I want Voat to be successful because it has taken steps to make sure that events that have made Reddit a less desirable place (from the community perspective) won't ever happen on that site. For example, "power mods" won't be a thing. Also, Atko seems like a really cool guy, which is a nice change because most, if not all, of the Reddit admins are douchebags and don't care about criticisms.

On another quick note, Techtronix is also trying to create partnerships with these new Voat communities. So far it has /v/gaming, part of the PlayStation network of subverses, part of the Xbox network of subverses, /v/nintendo, and probably more in the future. Even though I am affiliated with Techtronix (lol what an understatement), I'm glad to see it grow along with Voat. It was a break that Techtronix needed and I can only hope it gets better.