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Reddit Asks Users for Donations to Stay Afloat, Despite Success

Reddit Asks for DonationsReddit needs help. And it's asking its readers to provide it. In a recent, doleful blog post, programmer Mike Schiraldi implored the Reddit community to donate resources to the site in an effort to ease the workload of the four engineers who work around the clock "just to keep things going." Even as its traffic has ballooned to about 280 million page views per month, the site continues to function with the same, overworked quartet of engineers, and hasn't scrounged up enough cash to pay for new hires. Instead of plastering the page with ads, though, it has decided to raise money the old-fashioned way: asking for it.

True, Reddit is owned by Conde Nast, a billion-dollar corporation that's currently deliberating over whether or not to move to a sparkling new Manhattan office building. But, as Schiraldi explains, it's not like Reddit can just go ask its well-endowed parent for some extra cash. "Here's the thing: corporations aren't run like charities," the programmer points out. "They keep separate budgets for each business line, and usually allocate resources proportionate to revenue. And Reddit's revenue isn't great."

Considering how tight-knit Reddit's community is, soliciting donations from users might not be as far-fetched an idea as it seems. And, even if the attempt comes up short, it could at least help to apply public pressure on Conde Nast, and perhaps convince its budget-makers to throw a few dimes Reddit's way. No matter how you look at it, though, Reddit's plight is another sobering reminder that, in today's deserted online landscape, even a wildly popular and corporately subsidized news site can struggle to break even.

On a related note, the Switched fundraiser starts now. [From: Reddit, via: Gawker]

Tags: business, CondeNast, finance, fundraising, journalism, media, MikeSchiraldi, money, news, reddit, top, Traffic