Busy people who are new to Reddit, who aren’t in love with the front page content, don’t always want to spend a million years figuring out what they should subscribe to. This list will help them get started.
The lurking, five-year redditor responsible for this silly, wrong-headed list is veggiedog, who is in no way associated with the official Reddit. The list isn't intended to please everybody. These are just my personal subreddit suggestions (for this month at least), in no particular order. I hope you find it useful.
As wave after wave of new Redditors pour into the site, like Irish immigrants crowding the docks of New York during the potato famine, old Redditors can occasionally be heard to complain about how the place has gone to hell. Many seasons ago, a few of these reddiquette-savvy conservatives created their own little island to take refuge from the flood. This is the place to go for fewer memes and unicorns, and more links to substantial, interesting articles on the web. Idiocy will not be tolerated.
People who are doing weird or interesting stuff or are famous for some reason will start a "I am salmon fisherman/ prostitute/ congressman/ professional lacrosse player/ cancer patient" thread on this subreddit. As you'd expect, there's some crap to wade through, and the occasional bit of fakery, but providing proof is part of the process, and sometimes you hear some really interesting stories that you probably wouldn't hear anywhere else.
Not everybody's thing, but a good example of a subreddit that's not all about linkbait and chuckles. You might actually be rewarded for your browsing time with solid ways to save your hard-earned dollars in this Great Recession, brought to you by the penny-pinching peeps of /r/frugality. Like many subreddits, this one features a moderated list of extras in the sidebar, including a compilation of all the best tips gathered since /r/frugal was created.
Get your nerd on with /r/science/ and its cousin, /r/askscience. If science news on CNN is way too fluffy for your enormous brain, on the one hand, but you don't exactly want to spend your spare time browsing periodical indexes on the other, let the denizens of this subreddit serve up a meaty selection of all the cool stuff that is being discovered about the universe. They do a pretty good job of keeping out junk too.
In a curious accident of Reddit evolution the suffix, -porn, has come to be used for a network of around fifty totally safe-for-work subreddits, each of which is a collection of appealing pictures. There's waterporn, cityporn, designporn, geekporn, historyporn—you get the idea. Earthporn, as you've probably guessed, is dedicated to lovely photos of nature. A couple of these in the subscription list adds some lighter fare which is less random than the stuff that shows up on /r/pics.
There is weird and fascinating content on Wikipedia, but randomly browsing it is, well, about as much fun as reading an encyclopedia. Instead, let the voters of /r/wikipedia do the work for you. Read about ice worms or China's human-blinding laser, or the street battles of mods and rockers in the 1960s, to give a few examples. Maybe a controversial choice in a list of the best subreddits, but of all the ways to waste internet time, this is not the worst.
The brainless glue that binds Reddit together. Yes, I'm suggesting /r/pics, because kittens are truly awesome after all, and sometimes you just want to go online and click on some stuff. This is the easiest way to kill a little time without having to strain the gray matter.
If you really, really like cats and dogs and bunny rabbits, then /r/aww is the place for you.
For example: Today I learned (TIL) that sloths only poop once a week and it's called the poop dance. Now aren't you glad you learned that? Makes your world a little bit brighter, doesn't it? This is one of the many subreddits that transcends mere article aggregation with a slightly quirky format. Lots of procrastination time could be spent in here.
There are thousands of subreddits. However weird your hobbies or fetishes, or tiny your hometown, there's a decent chance someone has created a subreddit for it. You'll want to pad out your subscription list with a select number of smaller specialty subreddits, such as /r/chicago or /r/knitting. The tiny subreddits don't drive as many new postings to your page, so you can add quite a few without feeling swamped.
A grab bag of the good, the bad, the ugly, and the awe-inspiring. On any given day, you can be confident you'll find at least one vid worth watching while lying on the coach with an iPhone or tablet in one hand and snacks in the other. Resist the urge to press play on the ones that look as though they might make you cry or throw up—unless you're into that sort of thing. (A good example of the latter would be this.)
r/cinemagraphs: What exactly are these things? I guess you'd call them animated gifs for photographers. The best ones are beautiful photos in their own right subtly enhanced by animation. Check out this awesome whale, for example.