OTT Explains: What Is Reddit & Tips To Get Started

What is Reddit? At first glance, Reddit can seem intimidating to the uninitiated observer. Self-proclaimed as the “front page of the Internet,” Reddit is a massive and diverse community, and anyone who knows anything about the internet can tell you that that can be both a blessing and a curse. 

Similar to a bustling city, there is a nice side of Reddit and a not so nice side. You can’t simply write off the entire website based on one trip into the wrong neighborhood. At least not without visiting the nicer parts first.

To put your mind at ease, we’re going to divulge a bit of knowledge on what Reddit is and how you can get started using it.

What Is Reddit?

Reddit is essentially a platform that relies on an online community to decide what is and isn’t newsworthy by allowing them to post their own links and information. The users of the site would then be responsible for voting on these posts, either up or down, to determine which information is the best.

The site is split up into different subject sections called subreddits. Navigating these subreddits in order to find the information that matters most to you is often responsible for the intimidation most have with Reddit. The amount of information is massive and can hit you pretty hard if you’re unfamiliar with the infrastructure.

Links with the most upvotes will gain more visibility and make it easier to find on the main Reddit page. Links with more downvotes may find themselves lost and buried, never again to see the light of day.

Registering An Account

  • From the Reddit main page, look for the SIGN UP button located in the upper right-hand corner beside the LOG IN button.
  • The following window will require the email address you wish to assign to your Reddit account. Enter the text into the box and click NEXT.
  • The last window will have you choose a username and password. The username will be how others know you on Reddit and the password will be required to log into your account.
  • Once all information has been filled out, complete the process and register your new Reddit account by clicking the SIGN UP button.

Subreddits

Reddit is the ideal environment to meet like-minded people socializing and obsessing over similar interests. Whether you’re a writer, a lover of adorable pets, or a major sports fan, you can find a subreddit full of discussions and topics related to the subject.

Type anything you might be interested in into the search bar at the top of the page to get started. Reddit has a few advanced options and filters available to you if you choose to use them.

You can then check out a subreddit by clicking on one of the options that pop-up related to your query.

If there isn’t a subreddit related to the subject you’re searching for, then you can always create your own.

However, I would practice caution when it comes to the running of your own subreddit. Being a subreddit moderator is very demanding work especially if your subreddit has become extremely popular. You’ll be forced to lay down the law by kicking out the baddies, removing spam from conversations, and monitoring everything going on within the subreddit.

Some folks enjoy the dedication to a community effort so if you happen to be one of them, then feel free to give it a try. First, I think it might be better to join a few already created subreddits to at least get the lay of the land when it comes to what to expect.

Subscribing To Subreddits

While not logged into Reddit, the front page will be filled with default subreddits that everyone sees. Once logged in after registering an account, you’re able to customize your Reddit feed with the subreddits that you want to follow. After subscribing to a subreddit you’ll see your feed populated with the newest posts from that subreddit. 

You can choose to join a community or follow a user directly from the search results by clicking the appropriate button to the right of them. For those who prefer to check things out before subscribing, you can click on the page directly, peruse the topics enjoyed by the user or community, and decide to subscribe using the JOIN button found at the top or FOLLOW button in the right sidebar.

Creating Your Own Subreddit

Creating a subreddit is easy, running it is where the difficulty presents itself. Getting other people to visit it is also an uphill battle most of the time. It takes a lot of work to maintain a community so be sure you’re committed before proceeding. 

Your account will also need to be at least 30 days old and hold a quantity of Karma that only the site moderators are privy to. More on Karma later.

  • From the feed page, scroll until you see this image in the right sidebar.
  • Fill out all of the information required in the following window.
  • Click CREATE COMMUNITY to have the subreddit created.

Reddiquette

There are particular guidelines Reddit requires you to follow when using their platform. A few of the things that are considered prohibited is using the platform for self-promotion, link spamming, and post spamming. Performing any of these things could land you a swift ban.

Following the guidelines and being respectful will go a long way on Reddit.

Upvotes, Downvotes, Posts, Comments, and Karma

Once you’ve subscribed to a subreddit, you can begin upvoting and downvoting posts and comments found there. The up and down arrows to the left of a post or comment indicate the up and down voting respectively.

The number indicates the popularity. A positive number means it has received more upvotes than down whereas a negative number displayed means the opposite.

The comment box should be just below the initial post. You can add your two cents to the discussion and click the COMMENT button to send it.

To create your own post in the subreddit will require you to click the CREATE POST button found in the right sidebar.

Active participation in different subreddits while practicing good reddiquette will earn you Karma. The total can be found just below your username at the top-right of the page.

Karma can affect how others view you on Reddit even though it has very little impact on how the site is used outside of the desire to run your own subreddit. Think of it more as Reddit “street cred”.

Additional Tips & Tricks

Multiredditing

To combine a bunch of your favorite subreddits into one stream of posts, Reddit created a built-in system called multiredditing. You can combine any subreddits into a singular feed for maximum viewing but most combine subreddits of similar topics.

It’s preferred to access the multireddit option through the old Reddit front page. The new setup isn’t as user-friendly for this sort of thing. 

  • You can visit the old site by clicking your username in the top-right and selecting it from the drop-down menu.
  • From here, you’ll need to click on the very edge of the left side of the screen.
  • This will open up a side menu with the option to create your multireddit.
  • Name your multireddit and hit Create to your multireddit feed.
  • You can begin adding the subreddits you want featured in the feed from the right sidebar.

View Subreddits As Images Only

There are plenty of subreddits that consist of nothing but images. To bypass the need to click on every submission to view the images, you can add a ‘p’ to the URL. Stick a ‘p’ at the end of reddit in the URL like so

redditp.com/r/nameofsubreddit

This will create a slideshow of all the posts within the subreddit.

Streamline Comments

Turn a subreddit post into a pseudo chat room by adding -stream in the URL when in the comments section.

So,

https://www.reddit.com/r/eagles/comments/eoly47/conference_championship_round_playoffs_discussion/

becomes

https://www.reddit-stream.com/r/eagles/comments/eoly47/conference_championship_round_playoffs_discussion/

Reddit Enhancement Suite

To get the best out of your Redditing experience, installing Reddit’s Enhancement Suite is the best way to go. Enjoy an endlessly scrollable homepage, easy username swapping (for multi-account users), and a user highlighting feature.

This only just scratches the surface. A lot of the features that you can enjoy on Reddit today are likely in part due to RES. One of which is the Night Mode option, which is particularly useful for reducing the strain on your eyes that white computer light contributes.

The Best Places To Find Audiobooks For Free

These days, audiobooks are on the rise, as more and more people look to find ways to spice up an hour-long commute into work or school. It’s also how you can liven up and add some entertainment to mundane boring tasks such as washing the dishes or rearranging your clothes shelves. 

If you’d rather not pay for your audiobooks though, and you don’t mind not having the latest bestsellers, here are some sources where you can get audiobooks for free.

LibriVox

Librivox is an example of crowdsourcing on the internet, where volunteers read chapters of an audiobook with the aim of getting it online. These generous people take the initiative of reading chapters from short stories, fairy tales, and other kinds of books. 

Anyone can download these thousands of audiobooks for free, and anyone can volunteer their time to read another one for the site.

Due to the fact that many people are reading these novels, be aware that quality can vary from one person to the next. But for visually impaired people or disabled people, a service like this can be a lifesaver. You never know who is going to be reading the next chapter.

Google Play Books

No list would be complete without the inclusion of Google Play Books, but saying that, there is no dedicated “free” section on the site. In fact, being a business, Google puts more emphasis on the paid offerings.

There is however an audiobook section, and Google often gives away free books now and then as a special offer. It’s worth keeping the site bookmarked and check it on a regular basis to see if Google are running any special promotions.

DigitalBook

DigitalBook claims to have over 100,000 titles in their collection, but an initial inspection seems to suggest that they are merely indexing Librivox’s collection. 

You can listen to audiobooks without a membership. But a free membership will enable you to save all the audiobooks you want, place them on a bookshelf, and return to read them again in the future.

Libby

Did you know that you can borrow audiobooks for free from your local library? Not many people do, and Libby wants to make it easier to find and check out those audiobooks.

Operated by the library distribution service, Overdrive, Libby serves as your manager of audiobooks and with it, you can borrow audiobooks from all the libraries you are subscribed to.

After downloading its app to your phone, you can then listen to any audiobook available in your local library. This includes classics, bestsellers, and new releases.

Internet Archive

Best known for the Wayback machine, the Internet Archive serves as a repository for everything online. It is also trying to save and preserve our culture. Part of that are audiobooks.

By searching in the archive’s search engine, you can find all kinds of audiobooks (likely millions of them). But be careful because some of them may still be in copyright in your country. Download with extreme caution. For example, I found an Orson Scott Card book which is most likely still in copyright.

The Internet Archive is updated on a regular basis, so this is another one to bookmark and check back on often.

Project Gutenberg

Like LibriVox, this is a volunteer-run repository. Project Gutenberg came to life in 1971 and has been in existence ever since. It aims to digitize cultural works to fuel the distribution of e-books.

If you think Project Gutenberg is all about e-books, you’ve got another thing coming. The repository also features a large collection of human-read audiobooks for free, taken from the public domain (such as Librivox). 

Audible

Since you get a 30-day free trial, you can find plenty of audiobooks without paying a dime on Audible. With a reputation as one of the big guns in supplying new audiobooks on the internet, you’ll be in a good spot.

The monthly fee for an eventual subscription is $14.95. Compared to a free pass, that seems a lot. But if you consider the unlimited power you have to access all the audiobooks you want, you might think otherwise.

Audiobooks.com

More than 100,000 audiobooks for free are yours for the taking at Audiobooks. The catch is that you can take home only some of them for free. 

Like Audible, it charges you $14.95 per month if you sign up for its service. If you want to test the waters first before diving in, then its one-month free trial is perfect for you to get some audiobooks for free.

What sets this apart are the voices of trained actors who narrate the original stories in the items you can find here. When you check out what’s in store for you on the site, it’s as if you’re tuning in to more than just an audiobook. Instead, it’s like you’re in the middle of a radio drama.

Spotify

Do you have Spotify installed on your iPad, iPhone, or Android gadget? If so, you have a ticket to easily check out audiobooks. Just search for a title you like, or an author or genre.

Spotify is mostly around to provide music, so you can’t rely on it having as many titles as the rest of the entries in this list. But if you’re already an existing Spotify user, finding and downloading audiobooks for free is made easy for you.

The Best Places To Find 3D Printer Models

Whether you want to print out tools and parts for DIY projects, or something fun like a 3D printed Baby Yoda, you’ll need to find 3D printer models. It’s still a new space, and creating detailed models is a lot of work, so resources are still limited.

There are still a few gems out there that offer some great models for you to download and print for your own personal use. We’ve picked out a number of them that you’re sure to like.

Unless we explicitly state it in the opening paragraph, all websites featured in this article offer 3D models for free download. If you’re looking for 3D printers instead, here’s a list of great starter models.

Cults 3D – 3D Printer Model Platform

Cults 3D is a huge platform for creating, selling, and buying 3D printer models. Whilst some models must be purchased, there are also thousands of free 3D printer models to download too.

To get started, simply visit the website and search for something you’d like to print. Alternatively, visit the collections page and look for 3D models within certain collections. Popular collections include Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Pokemon.

For more productive prints, the useful objects collection might take your fancy. This includes projects like 3D printed smartphone holders, clamps for DIY work, or kitchen tools like egg separators and bag clips.

Please note that all of these 3D printer models are user submitted, so print instructions, model quality, and support will all vary from model to model. You can sort your search results by download or like count to make it easier to find good models.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can find a creator to make a 3D model for you with the on demand feature. You must list the specifications of the model, give a budget, and choose a deadline. The more you provide in terms of specifications and illustrations for the print, the better.

Yeggi – Search Engine for 3D Printer Models

Yeggi doesn’t offer up 3D printer models itself, but instead provides a powerful tool to search for 3D models. Yeggi has been around since 2013 and since then there hasn’t really been any decent competition to make us suggest an alternative. Since Yeggi sends you to approved third party websites, some 3D models are only available for purchase. However, 90% of all models that appear in Yeggi’s search engine are free to download.

Yeggi has over 2 million 3D printer models in its database, so a quick search should return some good results. The search tools aren’t as comprehensive as Google, but you can still sort results by best match, popularity, or most recently added.

You can also filter out free or for sale models so that you get the results you need. Our only gripe with Yeggi is that searching for that perfect model often leads to clicking back and forth between multiple different websites, so be prepared to go through plenty of tabs on your browser.

Thingiverse – Find 3D Printing Projects

Despite the name, Thingiverse isn’t just about printing out things. It’s a great platform for finding fun, educational projects and to join a community. Take this LTB weather station for example. It’s also a great place to engage with other 3D printer owners and learn about what they’re building. 

You can find specific groups so that you can interact with like-minded people. For example, some popular groups include engineering, Raspberry Pi enthusiasts, board game creators, Star Wars, and Warhammer 40K.

If you are after things to print out, that’s possible, too. The search bar is the best tool to use to find 3D printer models to print out. For example, a quick search for Baby Yoda returned hundreds of results, sorted by popularity.

Because of the community-led focus, you’ll have more tools to engage with each creator’s project. Let’s say you wanted to see how a specific 3D Baby Yoda print would actually turn out. You can see the Makes tab to view other user’s results after printing the model you are currently viewing.

YouMagine – Community Created Prints

YouMagine is driven by the community, perhaps more so than the other platforms we’ve listed so far. The goal behind YouMagine is to create an open source platform where individuals can work to create, edit, and collaborate on 3D printer models without any content restrictions.

That means models will often use a Creative Commons license. Typically, models will use CC Attribution Noncommercial Share Alike, which means you can download 3D models for free, edit, and reshare any work, but you cannot use it commercially.

For now, YouMagine’s community is a little smaller, but if you’re looking to collaborate with others on 3D printer models or want to find the starting work for your own 3D designs that you can print later, YouMagine is a great tool. 

Instructables – For 3D Printing Projects

Instructables isn’t just about 3D printer models but it’s a great website to find fun, engaging projects that do utilize 3D printing. You’ll be able to find projects with full guides and downloadable model files.

Not only does this mean that you can print out some useful models, but you can learn how to do everything along the way. Download parts to build your own 3D printed toys, or learn how to create your very own 3D printable models too.

Is a PayPal Credit Account Right For You?

A Paypal credit account is very different than a Paypal credit card. It’s a line of credit that will let you buy things with your Paypal account even if your Paypal balance doesn’t have enough to cover the purchase.

So, why would you want to sign up for a Paypal credit account? There are a few features of this credit line offered by Paypal that has a lot of advantages. Most importantly, it lets you spread out payments over a period of time, without any penalties or interest.

Let’s explore what a Paypal credit account offers, as well as when and why you may want to use it.

What Is a PayPal Credit Account?

Think of a Paypal credit account as a line of credit that gets tacked onto your regular Paypal account. 

When you apply for PayPal credit, your credit application gets processed by Synchrony Bank. Since the lowest credit line offered is only $250, a lot of people will qualify for the credit line.

You’ll need to provide your date of birth, net income after taxes, and your social security number. Approval for a PayPal credit account is instant most of the time. 

There are a few important things to know before you decide to apply for a PayPal credit account.

  • Your credit report will receive a “hard” hit once for the initial credit approval. This could affect your credit report.
  • Your initial credit limit will be $250.
  • Paying your account on time will likely result in a credit line increase over time.
  • The variable annual percentage rate (APR) is 25.99%.
  • Sending money to someone (using a cash advance) will cost a fee of 2.9% plus $0.30.
  • Not paying off your PayPal credit account on time will not affect your credit score.
  • Paying off your PayPal credit account on time will not improve your credit score.

Once approved, the line of credit will get linked to your PayPal account. Whenever you purchase anything anywhere that accepts PayPal, you’ll see your new PayPal credit account as an option for payment.

How To Use Your Paypal Credit Account

Whenever you buy from a merchant that accepts Paypal payments, like eBay, you’ll see PayPal credit listed as a payment option.

Choosing the PayPal credit option processes the payment will process just like you were paying using your regular PayPal account. If you want to use your PayPal credit for all of your purchases, you’ll need to set it up as your preferred payment option in your PayPal account.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind to reduce the amount of fees and interest you end up paying for your purchases.

  • Anything you buy over $99, you won’t pay any interest if you pay it off within 6 months.
  • Pay at least the minimum monthly payments to avoid interest charges.

When To Use PayPal Credit

There are a few reasons this is better than getting a PayPal credit card (or any other credit card).

PayPal credit works like a safety buffer for your PayPal account. Unfortunately whether you transfer money from your bank account to PayPal, or someone has paid you via PayPal, it takes a few days for the money to come in.

Buying Things While Waiting For a Payment

Your account may be near zero, but since you have money coming in, there’s no reason  you shouldn’t be able to use your account to buy something using your PayPal account.

With PayPal credit, even if your account is nearly zero, you can still buy things and not have to worry. Once you receive the payment into your account, you can pay off the credit you used.

Use PayPal Credit As An Alternative Credit Card

The psychology of owning a high limit credit card often leads people to overspend. Before they know it, they’ve used up $5,000 or $6,000 of a $10,000 credit card limit.

That’s not the kind of amount that most people can pay off in a month, so they’re forced to roll over most of the balance from month to month and pay significant interest charges.

Paypal credit lets you use credit for small purchases, but not so much that you can’t afford to pay it off each month. Paying the entire balance off means you’ll avoid paying the 25.99% interest rates that come along with smaller purchases under $99.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t roll over a balance and avoid interest charges, but only if you make purchases larger than $99. You’ll also need to make sure you pay off those charges before the 6 month limit.

Paying For Basic Necessities

Let’s face it, sometimes the needs of life occasionally exceed your monthly income. It doesn’t happen every month, but at times like the holidays it can happen.

Using PayPal to buy groceries or gas is possible, considering that there are currently over 30 grocery chains across the country that accept PayPal payments.

Even online grocery stores like GrumMarket accepts PayPal.

So long as you use your PayPal credit account for things like this sparingly, and make sure to pay off the balance the very next month, this is an acceptable way to survive those difficult times.

Use The Convenience Of a Mobile App

When you use the PayPal mobile app for iOS or Android, you can closely monitor how much PayPal credit you’re using.

In addition to this, you can quickly make payments so you can stay on time and never be late with a credit payment. But even if you are, remember that missing a payment or two of your PayPal credit payments won’t hurt your credit rating like missing a credit card payment would.

Reasons You Shouldn’t Use a Paypal Credit Account

The convenience of a Paypal credit account is both a blessing and a curse. For all of the reasons stated above, it gives you access to money when you need it.

However, it’s not for everyone. If any of the items below describe you, you probably shouldn’t apply for a PayPal credit account. 

  • You struggle to pay off balances on time.
  • You tend to compulsively buy things you don’t need.
  • You’re living paycheck to paycheck.
  • You already have multiple, maxed out credit cards.

If you already have bad credit habits, the 25.99% interest on the balance you don’t pay could get you into trouble quickly. 

Rolling over balances beyond the 6 month limit means your PayPal credit account could become just like every one of your maxed out credit cards. You’ll find yourself paying mostly interest on a balance that can become very difficult to pay off.

Paypal for Business: 6 Features You Need to Try

Do you use PayPal for business? Are you using PayPal to accept payments from your online customers? If you’ve been using the platform for a number of years, you may feel you know it inside and out. 

If that’s true, then you should know about all of its features, like PayPal Credit (formerly Bill Me Later), and the ability to accept money in person (and using Bitcoin). 

If not, then it’s time you learn all about what PayPal for business has to offer. First, let’s take a look at PayPal Credit. 

What Is PayPal Credit?

PayPal Credit, formerly known as Bill Me Later, has been around since 2008. It allows merchants to offer credit to customers so they can buy now and pay later (only for orders $99 or more). 

It sounds counterproductive for an e-commerce store, but it’s, in fact, ingenious. Although your customers don’t pay upfront, you still get paid right away. There’s no disruption from your existing PayPal checkout flow. Then the customer has six months to pay off the balance in full.

Surprisingly, PayPal Credit usage didn’t take off right away. It was stagnant at around 25 million users until 2018 and 2019 when it soared from 250 million to 275 million. Then at the beginning of 2019, it reached $50 billion in transaction volume.

Ryan will shortly be bringing out a more in-depth article on Paypal credit and how it works exactly.

How To Add a PayPal Credit Banner To Your Shopify Cart

When you use PayPal for business, it’s good to promote that you’re accepting PayPal Credit payments in your ecommerce store for orders over $99. This way, you can entice visitors to add enough items in their cart to qualify. Those who don’t have PayPal Credit will be able to apply. 

Here’s how to add a banner to your product page on your Shopify cart:

  1. Log into your Shopify admin panel.
  2. Select online store.
  3. Select themes.
  4. Click the three dots (…)
  5. Select Edit HTML/CSS.
  6. Click theme.liquid beneath Layout.
  7. Paste your code for the PayPal Credit banner (given to you from PayPal financing) into the template.
  8. Click save.

How To Add a PayPal Credit Button To Your Magento Store

It doesn’t cost you a dime to offer finance to customers through PayPal Credit. Here’s how you can set it up in Magento.

  1. Go to the Admin menu.
  2. Select System > Configuration.
  3. A panel will show up. Select Payment Methods underneath Sales.
  4. Click the Configure button under PayPal Express Checkout.
  5. Click Configure.
  6. Expand the menu for Required PayPal Settings.
  7. Select Yes to Enable PayPal Credit
  8. Click the Save Config button.

Now your customers are ready to make purchases from your Magento store using PayPal Credit. 

5 Other PayPal Features For Your Business Should Try

Many businesses use PayPal for years without taking advantage of any of its additional features. This is partly due to them not doing any research or simply clicking around the platform to learn more about what it has to offer. 

So we’re going to take a look at five features PayPal offers for businesses that you should consider using. 

Make Mass Payments

If you’re in a business that uses contractors, freelancers, or remote employees, then you likely submit payments virtually. Rather than doing it one at a time, you can use PayPal’s mass payments feature. 

This is ideal if you have more than a handful of payments to make each month. With this feature, you can take care of all payments in one go. 

Then if it’s the same amount each month, you can save the template, so you don’t have to fill out emails each time. 

Accept Bitcoin With Braintree

PayPal owns Braintree, which is an online payment solution that accepts all sorts of payment types – including Bitcoin.

If you’re on the cryptocurrency bandwagon, then this is the perfect way to get your foot in the door (and Bitcoin in your virtual wallet). 

Get Your Programmers to Tweak PayPal’s Open Source Code

Open source software far exceeds its closed source counterparts because it continues to grow at a rapid rate. When you open the door for programmers across the world to work on your SDK, then you’re bound to see evolution occur time and time again. This is one reason PayPal remains a leader in payment solutions. 

Now that you know the platform is open source, why not see how you can add to the code to make it even better?

There are currently several active projects, including a credit card scanner for mobile apps and a real-time metadata scanner. 

Accept In-Person Payments With a Card Reader

Maybe your business isn’t entirely online. If that’s the case, then you’ll need a way to offer flexible billing for your in-person transactions. 

Rather than only accepting cash and checks, you can expand to credit and debit cards using a POS (point of sale) system. You can plug this into your smartphone or tablet to swipe cards. The updated systems also come with card readers. 

Everything’s done through the app for your convenience. 

Expand Your Business With Working Capital Loans

Here’s something you don’t see every day with payment processors. In the past, you had to rely on investors and banks to get funding to grow your business. Today, you can use your PayPal account to apply for working capital loans (all without it affecting your credit score). You can apply and receive funding to your account within minutes (no credit check required). 

The amount you qualify for will depend on your annual sales. You have to make at least $15,000 per year in sales and have had a business account for at least three months. PayPal will offer up to 35% of your sales. 

You’ll get several options for repayment – you can opt to have PayPal take between 10% and 35% off your sales until the loan is paid off. There are set fees, which are determined by the percentage you choose for the payoff. 

You can play around with different amounts (up to the maximum it offers) to see what works for your budget. The minimum you can take out is $1,500. Once you repay the loan (yes, you can pay it off early without penalty), you can apply for another after three days. 

Maximize Your Sales With PayPal’s Features

PayPal is more than just a payment processor, it’s a business partner. When used to its full potential, you can grow your sales and get backing to fund your expansion. 

If you’re serious about your online (or offline) business, then we recommend giving these PayPal business features a try.