Reddit culturomics

« previous post | next post »

Randy Olson and Ritchie King, "How The Internet* Talks [*Well, the mostly young and mostly male users of Reddit, anyway]", 11/18/2015. The interactive viewer reveals some interesting trends:

Or this:

And the data is available at, courtesy of Jason Baumgartner.


  1. S Frankel said,

    January 2, 2016 @ 9:21 am

    Something odd: "lol" has been trending upward:

    This seems to imply an increasing number of young females using Reddit.

  2. edhall said,

    January 3, 2016 @ 8:17 pm

    LOL began losing currency some time ago. These days it's commonly used sarcastically according to my gamer son.

  3. Iamaom said,

    January 5, 2016 @ 8:34 pm


    As a young(er) internet user myself, "lol" is a very interesting word: Many sites like 4chan attempt to separate themselves from the average user ("normies") by coming up with new mutations of it (but with the same meaning), and after that mutation becomes popular a new, even less transparent mutation is created:


    Often sites like reddit are behind on the current mutation, and even more popular sites like facebook are more behind. You can generally gauge someone's internet savviness based on how recent a mutation their using.

    It's similar to how words for "trendy" evolve and old ones are ridiculed by the younger generation:


  4. Jeff said,

    January 7, 2016 @ 12:43 am


    "kek" has a pretty clear etymology, though. In World of Warcraft, players can't read messages written by members of the opposing faction. Player speech is automatically translated when viewed by members of the opposing faction, rendering it unintelligible. However, players have been able to pick out certain consistent patterns. "kek" is the result when an Alliance player reads "lol" written Orcish, which happens fairly regularly in player versus player content. It's also similar to the Korean "kekekeke", which probably accounts for a good portion of its popularity and staying power.

RSS feed for comments on this post