Navigating through social news site Reddit can be a daunting task. With over 6,000 topic-specific pages (called subreddits), it is up to volunteer moderators to ensure that visitors to one page get to see related content posted on another.
Michigan State assistant professor Zachary Neal and PhD student Randy Olson created an interactive online visualization tool, called Redditviz, to provide a lens into the complex web of pages. The tool maps the subreddits in relation to one another, not using the site’s own links, but drawing from actual user behavior data. What results is a network diagram where communities of similar individuals are easily visible; there are the sports fans, the gamers, the music lovers, and even the fans of animated TV series My Little Pony. Each node represents a subreddit, with nodes colored according to how many others they link to and sized according to the number of posts in the subreddit.