interview with peteris krumins – creator of reddit media and digpicz

peter is 22 years old. he is studying physics and loves mathematics but his real passion is computer science. he has recently become famous for developing reddit media and digpicz.

hi peter. thanks for taking out the time to answer some questions.

let’s start with some background.

Sure. I got into programming around 1996. It was hard to get internet access here in Latvia at that time so I befriended a unix sysadmin who was like my teacher at that time. anyway, from there, i met this friend on irc, who helped me with various computer-related things and introduced me to linux and programming.

my first experience with programming was creating an irc client. it was fun exploring this protocol. since then I have been programming both for fun and work in many various languages. at one point I even wrote an intrusion prevention system when i worked as an white-hat (ethical) hacker.

so how did you end up creating reddit media?

i have been an active reddit user for a while, since the content there is relatively better than other social sites. when they added the programming subreddit, it became my number one source of information. as for why i created reddit media, it was mostly so that people would have an easy way to access all the media (pictures and videos) that is submitted to Reddit.

It was so easy to create it, that i just did it.

and how about diggpicz?

well, as i’m sure you know, digg users have been asking for a pictures section on the site for a long time. i saw that the digg developers kept saying that they would create the section but haven’t done it yet so I decided to do it for digg users. i have had so much programming experiences that this is easy for me and allows me to help such a large community with relatively little effort on my part.

it was just a few hours of work to reuse code that I had written for reddit media to create digg picz.

so where do you go from here? it seems that digg’s official pictures section is coming. is there any chance that they will seek help from you or would you consider working for/with them?

well, even when digg releases their own version, i won’t feel that my efforts are wasted. creating the site was fun and I enjoyed helping thousands of users in the meantime. again, the site took only 7 hours to make. that said, i doubt that they will use my site, because i wrote it entirely in perl and optimized it for a shared hosting server, meaning that all the pages are pre-generated and there is no interaction with database in real time. and digg runs php, so it would be a complete re-write. my intention was never ‘build-to-flip’

working for digg would be cool, but there is a problem with that. I am last year theoretical physics student and i graduate only in June 2008. i am applying for mit this november and if i get accepted then i will put all the effort in studying there and not working. if i don’t get in, then i will definitely consider working for digg.

now that you have created a version of the site for reddit and a version for digg and seen how successful both of them have become, have you thought about releasing a pligg-like cms to let people create their own media sites?

yes i have thought about it, but first i would like to finish picurls.com (same idea as popurls.com but focused on pictures) which will be in perl again. in an upcoming version of picurls.com you will be able to choose from a variety of sources, which ones you want to see pictures from.

hopefully this site will launch by this sunday.

and you are funding all these projects out of your own pocket?

yes, I am funding all of this -literally- out of my own pocket, hence I am looking for someone who would sponsor me a dedicated linux server.

thanks for your time and I hope somebody will generously gift you a linux server.

for more, please check out peter’s website: good coders code, great reuse.

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8 thoughts on “interview with peteris krumins – creator of reddit media and digpicz

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