Reddit bills itself as “The Front Page Of The Internet.” So you would think with such an impressive tagline would have the most accurate information, right?
Well, maybe and maybe not.
It all depends on who put the information on the site in the first place.
First, what is Reddit?
Reddit is a site where people can post links to the articles, photos, videos, and sound files that they have found elsewhere on the internet.
When other people look at the content on those links, they then vote those links UP to a higher place of prominence on the site or vote the links DOWN to obscurity.
Theoretically, the best content on the internet is introduced onto the Reddit platform and then voted UP, so it reaches everyone on the site.
In order to make room for fresh content, Reddit has developed an algorithm of sorts to “weigh down” older link posts to free up space for the newer posted links.
All of this activity happens in what Reddit calls “subreddits”. Subreddits are areas of the site dedicated to niche topics such as “cute kittens with big eyes,” “fans of superglue,” or “best MSPs in Chicago.”
In addition to posting links discovered in other places on the internet and voting them UP or DOWN, Reddit allows individual users to comment on the posted links.
Once someone has commented, their comment is then fair game to be voted UP or DOWN depending on people’s reaction to the comment made.
At this point, you’re thinking, “That sounds pretty smart.”
And it is!
Here’s the problem.
Most of Reddit users are anonymous.
Yes, you heard it right.
Reddit makes no effort to force people to use their real names or identify themselves in any way.
Is this good?
Well, it allows for some very honest and deep conversations and arguments. This, in turn, leads to more people learning more about the topic at hand and about each other.
What’s the downside?
The downside of anonymous users is that it allows the worst in human nature to emerge.
When it comes to MSP reviews on Reddit, the anonymous user policy of Reddit makes it easy for people to either make fake reviews praising their own MSP or post horrible things about the competition.
It’s like a weird take on the movie “Mean Girls.”
To put the matter bluntly…you can’t trust anonymous reviews.
Amazon has this figured out. They allow anyone to put a review of a product on their site, but their algorithm gives more weight to reviews posted by people who have been verified by their purchase of the product that they are reviewing.
Because Reddit is not intended to be an e-commerce platform, it doesn’t have the intrinsic need to verify reviews. Instead, it’s the wild west on Reddit. Anything goes. If you don’t like the color socks a fellow is wearing, you can post about his socks or lie completely and tell everyone that he’s Jimmy Hoffa. On Reddit, truth doesn’t matter. What does matter is votes – UP or DOWN – that’s it.
What should you look for when you search for your MSP on Reddit?
- Look for links from credible news sites that mention your MSP or individuals employed by your MSP. Because Reddit is link driven, there may be verifiable stories on those links. This will give you a more unbiased look at the MSP you are looking up on Reddit.
- Look for posts and comments from people who are willing to identify themselves or the company that they work for. These are more likely to be genuine than anonymous posts.
- Look for reviews pulled over from credible sites within the MSP industry that mention the MSP in which you are interested. Authority sites and vendor sites within the MSP world are concerned about their image and wouldn’t purposely inflate or deflate reviews of or comments about specific MSPs.
If you find 100 comments about a Chicago MSP like Infiniwiz, you’d be smart to ignore the fifteen worst and the fifteen best comments. The truth is in the middle of the pack somewhere.
How can you help your favorite MSP on Reddit?
The easy answer would be, “Go in and tell every negative commenter just how wrong they are.”
Although you may feel like doing this, it won’t accomplish much – other than suck up a lot of your time.
The damage has been done. The negative comment or review is already in the head of the reader, and no response to the contrary will erase it. In fact, responding to the negative commenter shows Reddit that there is some interest in his post and keeps it “alive” longer than it would if you let it die a natural death of old age.
Instead, post your own review – complete with your name and your company. Be honest and fair. Don’t make glowing, splashy claims about your favorite MSP. Just state the facts as you know them.
People listen to reviews that “feel” unbiased.