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A riveting look inside Reddit, the wildly popular, often misunderstood website, whose intensely-engaged users have changed the culture of the Internet--"a must-read for anyone hoping to make sense of the century ahead" (Ashlee Vance, bestselling author of Elon Musk).
Reddit hails itself as "the front page of the Internet." It's the third most-visited website in the United States--and yet, millions of Americans have no idea what it is.
We Are the Nerds is an engrossing look deep inside this captivating, maddening enterprise, whose army of obsessed users have been credited with everything from solving cold case crimes and spurring tens of millions of dollars in charitable donations to seeding alt-right fury and landing Donald Trump in the White House. We Are the Nerds is a gripping start-up narrative: the story of how Reddit's founders, Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, rose up from their suburban childhoods to become millionaires and create an icon of the digital age--before seeing the site engulfed in controversies and nearly losing control of it for good.
Based on Christine Lagorio-Chafkin's exclusive access to founders Ohanian and Huffman, We Are the Nerds is also a compelling exploration of the way we all communicate today--and how we got here. Reddit and its users have become a mirror of the Internet: it has dingy corners, shiny memes, malicious trolls, and a sometimes heart-melting ability to connect people across cultures, oceans, and ideological divides.
About the Author
Christine Lagorio-Chafkin is an award-winning journalist who has covered culture, emerging technologies, and entrepreneurship for the past 15 years. She is senior writer at Inc. magazine and her work has appeared in many other publications, including The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, and the Washington Post. She was raised on a sheep farm in rural Wisconsin and now lives in New York City with her husband, cats, and toddlers. Her favorite subreddits are r/blep and r/ShowerThoughts.
"Reddit is life.
Or at least that's the case for millions upon millions of people on the
Internet. In We Are the Nerds, Christine
Lagorio-Chafkin has done a masterful job of explaining how Reddit became the
Internet's dominant cultural force. It's a riveting tale that shows how the
best and worst sides of humanity coexist online and how a virtual world has
managed to have a profound impact on the undulations of reality. Fast-paced,
packed with insight, and, above all, wonderfully entertaining, this is a must-read for anyone hoping to make sense of the century ahead."—Ashlee Vance, New York Times bestselling author of Elon Musk
"This is the
untold story of how one of the world's most popular websites was hatched--and
how it took on a mind of its own. It's a gripping read, and it's full of
lessons for building startups and organizing communities."—Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals, Give and Take, and Option B with Sheryl Sandberg
"We Are the Nerds is the best, grittiest, most
accurate book yet about what it's like to build a startup and a community from
scratch (a struggle I know well). And it's a great story; truly fun to read!
Lagorio-Chafkin takes us back to a formative time for the modern web, helping
us understand what can go wrong--and right!--when we try to harness the power of
online community (and make money along the way)."—John Zeratsky, former design partner, Google Ventures, and New York Times bestselling author of Sprint and Make Time
"I've heard every
start-up story you can imagine, but Reddit's is as fascinating as it gets.
Christine has captured what it really looks like to start a company and turned
Reddit's struggle for success into a gripping, entertaining book that is a
must-read for every entrepreneur."—Daymond John, star of ABC's Shark Tank, bestselling author of Rise and Grind, and founder of FUBU
book is incisive, witty, and brilliantly written. She gives you a front-row
seat to the world-altering consequences of the decisions made by a cast of
compelling, though sometimes stumbling, humans on the front lines of the
Internet--nerds and all."—Emily Chang, author of the national bestseller Brotopia
Lagorio-Chafkin has stepped into a male-centric genre, the start-up narrative,
and produced a book of monumental power and importance: a rich, thoughtful
chronicle of Reddit that grapples just as brilliantly with the dark side of
tech--its trolls, its problems with gender and diversity--as it does its
culture-shattering innovations. I was wowed by this book."—Liza Mundy, New York Times bestselling author of Michelle and Code Girls
"Excellent.... Learn how the internet's front page got its
mojo back."—Business Insider
"A classic 'we were coders once, and young' tale....
Lagorio-Chafkin fearlessly explores Reddit's dark edges."—Wall Street Journal
"Really three tales in one ... that of a scrappy
start-up destined for web domination,... [the] technologists, entrepreneurs and
iconoclasts seeking to reshape the world, ... [and] the rise of social media from
the perspective of one of its most important players.... The reader feels like
Forrest Gump, stumbling from one remarkable event or person to the next... We
Are the Nerds describes how Reddit began. The real story is how the site
and its ilk will change the world. On that, we're still in Act One."—Nature