The company would love to hire engineers to complement the current technical team, which has been struggling with site sluggishness and outages lately and would also like to add some new features to reddit at some point.
However, they write, although the company is owned by a mega media corp with billions of dollars in revenue, there’s isn’t any budget to hire people and add more resources.
Its own revenues are too weak, they add, in a – refreshingly – brutally honest way.
But here’s the thing: corporations aren’t run like charities. They keep separate budgets for each business line, and usually allocate resources proportionate to revenue. And reddit’s revenue isn’t great.
According to the company, reddit traffic has now grown to roughly 280 million pageviews per month, and a team of merely four engineers to sustain the site and add new features is simply not cutting it any longer.
So the team turns to what is arguably its most powerful asset: its very own user base.
Reddit is hoping that its users and fans will donate the money needed to hire more people and buy more servers, so they don’t have to revert to other tactics like intrusive and obnoxious advertising. But rather than call it what it is – donations – the company is asking people to subscribe to reddit gold and pay as much as they want for it.
What does one get for subscribing to reddit? Nothing yet, apart from the team’s “undying gratitude and an optional trophy on your userpage”, but should the program become successful enough, reddit hopes to give subscribers better incentives in the coming months.
Evidently, there’s a lot of debate on reddit about the program, the blog post, and a ton of other topics. To join the conversation or learn how the community is responding to the pledge drive, go here and check out the comments (2837 at the time of publication).
Or tell us what you think of all this hereunder, of course.
Launched in 2005, Reddit is a social news website that displays news based on your personal preferences and what the community likes. Your preferences are determined based on your history of voting stories up or down. The company was started by two University of Virginia grads, Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman in the Y Combinator program. Two others, Christopher Slowe and Aaron Swartz, later joined the team. Conde Nast, owner of Wired and other magazines/websites, acquired Reddit in October of 2006....