Web

This is what the chaos of Reddit looks like visualized in real time: Erqqvg and Vizeddit

vizeddit

For the Redditors out there, here’s a neat application built by a fellow Redditor that visualizes Reddit upvotes and downvotes in real-time.

Reddit karma is a mark of Internet glory. The higher your karma, the more respect you’ll garner in the community, while making a few anonymous enemies along the way. Of course, in real life, it may not be worth boasting about, unless you’ve been acquiring points in the tech-oriented, Y-combinator-run Hacker News.

But the larger question that users and even marketers have in mind is how and what makes Redditors tick, knowing that there’s an off-chance that content will be propelled from obscurity into a viral sensation. For example, Reddit is a particular hit among musicians. Before appearing on Reddit, a wide-eyed, beaming  girl with a ukulele, also known as “uuuuuuuukewithme” on YouTube, managed to accrue several thousand views on her YouTube videos. Only one day ago, after an inspired Redditor submitted her ukulele cover of Nicki Minaj’s “Superbass,” the musician’s video views shot up to tens of thousands of views in a matter of hours. Checking back twelve hours later, she’s currently sporting over 400,000 views.

Visualizing such trends in real-time is made possible by Erqqvg.com, named after the ROT13 encoding – a substitution cipher – for the word, “Reddit.” The upvotes and downvotes on Reddit’s front page are illustrated, and fluctuate at a rate reminiscent of stock tickers. Its picturesque counterpart, Vizeddit, presents the interactions in a waterfall of pluses and minuses.

Erqqvg.com’s earliest iteration was developed by Redditor, Tritelife, until entrepreneur and developer, Yvo Schaap, discovered the earlier version of the application in 2009 and decided to finance it to improve its capabilities. At the time, building Erqqvg was an accomplishment in itself, as Reddit was itself a rather obscure site and had not offered an API, which forced the Erqqvg duo to get creative.

Eight months ago, Tritelife disappeared from the Web, but Schaap has assumed ownership and the developer’s role of updating the application.

“Since, I’ve changed a large part of the backend to better handle the numerous requests the user’s browser is making, without hammering mine or Reddit’s servers. It checks a few times a minute for voting updates, and visualizes those,” Schaap told Digital Trends.

Admittedly, the features that Schaap has built out thus far have been sparse and only offer a real-time visualization of Reddit’s front page. Unfortunately, the capability of building out an analytics platform is laborious. Due to Reddit’s API, Schaap tells us, building out analytics would require the manpower to manually pull and analyze the content. But despite devoting the majority of his time to his startup, Fanity.com, he’s considering Redditor’s suggestions of adding the visualization to subreddits and freshly trending topics.

For now, Erqqvg.com and Vizeddit are intriguing visual applications that Schaap admits were built for what he calls, a “wow-factor.” As for how to move forward with the service, Schaap is open to ideas, but in the meantime he tells us, “Projects like these show what you can do with all that data and interaction of the community. This project provides cool visual cues on what’s going on on Reddit, without losing what Reddit is about.”

If you have any purposeful ideas for visualizing Reddit, let us know in the comments below.

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