In the Globe and Mail newsroom, we track the popularity of our stories on big monitors that resemble stock ticker boards. Headlines move up and down based on how many people are reading them at any given time.
Last Tuesday, personal finance columnist Rob Carrick wrote a column that really "lit up the board," as we like to say.
In the column, 2012 vs. 1984: Young adults really do have it harder today, Rob compared what it was like for him 30 years ago as a twenty-something finishing university, when things were "totally affordable," compared to the financial hardship faced by today's youth.
While Rob's stories are always well-read, this one rose to the top of the board faster than usual, and remained firmly stuck there, long after it had been removed from our homepage in favour of fresher news.
We wondered, "What was behind this story's popularity?" By running a few reports, we discovered that Reddit, a social sharing community, was driving 70 per cent of the traffic to our site. Someone had posted a link to Rob's story on Reddit, and the community took it from there.
To put the Reddit community into perspective, while Rob's story garnered a respectable 943 comments on our own site, Reddit readers left 5,487 comments. To date, Rob's story has been our most read of the year, due in large part to Reddit.
Rob's no stranger to social media, with 11,000 Facebook subscribers and 4,800 Twitter followers. So when a Reddit reader suggested Rob do a Q&A with the community - which Reddit calls an AMA, or Ask Me Anything - he agreed.
Today from 10 a.m. until noon, Rob is making his first foray on Reddit. Here's a link to the discussion. Feel free to ask him anything!