We're thrilled to announce the arrival of Kinja, Jezebel's discussion platform, which was born at 7:30 AM this morning weighing a healthy 6 lbs. 5 oz. Both mother and baby are doing fine.
And with that, the commenting system as you knew it is no more. In its place is something shiny and new, and it's ready to earn your love. Smell that? It's the future!
First, some real talk: Whyyyyyyyy are you doing this to me? A perfectly reasonable question; all of the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" comments regarding Gawker Media's commenting rollover are worth addressing. Folks: The system was broken. We created it, and we got it wrong. Stars inevitably created a hierarchy; suspending/banning/moving threads just created drama. And most frustrating of all, the best conversations got lost in the fray. It became loud and messy at times; no matter how insightful the comment, it was all cheap seats. (I have a baseball stadium seating metaphor half-formed in my head, but I'll spare you.)
We can do better. So let's fix it.
Kinja is about letting the best discussions rise to the top. These conversations, the ones that are just as great to read as the post itself, will no longer be hard to find. Because the better a thread is, the higher up it will appear in the comments. It's a meritocracy.
As for how this all works, some basic stuff:
- Stars are gone. The hierarchy is over; prominence is now based on the quality of your comments. Comments that get good responses and spark a conversation will be given precedence over a one-liner from a starred commenter.
- You moderate your own discussion. Start a thread, and you're in control. If someone replies to your comment, you'll see a "dismiss" button next to that comment — this allows you to dismiss responses within your thread that you decide are irrelevant.
As for the dismissed comments: these losing insights don't disappear, they're just booted from your specific thread and will appear as their own (lonely) threads. If you start a thread, you'll be able to see and manage replies in your personal inbox, which can be found at http://jezebel.com/me/inbox.
- No more hashtags. The hashtag ghetto is a thing of the past; individual comments will not be booted from a post. They may, however, be dismissed by the thread's owner. And even then, as I said above, they'll still appear within the post. They're just going to get picked last for dodgeball.
- Step up your game. If you want to be heard, if you don't want your comment to be lost somewhere in the pile, you really have to have something to say. Your insight should be phrased so as to prompt actual conversation. If it helps, think of your comment as an invitation to fellow commenters — and Jezebel editors, because we're going to be playing ball too — to discuss something with you. Did I mention meritocracy? We're really serious about that, and in this case it's determined by your peers, not some star.
TL;DR — don't just drop a random comment. Start and participate in discussions. Don't reply to trolls or comments that don't really say anything. And count on seeing Jezebel writers and editors doing the same.
More nitty gritty:
- You can share entire branches of conversations by clicking on the little gray timestamp.
- Open threads and Groupthink aren't going anywhere. Open threads will operate a la Kinja, but Groupthink will look pretty much like it did before.
- To nominate a comment of the day, go to the CoTD forum and leave a link to your nominee. Responding to funny comments with #cotd won't work anymore.
- If you've not yet converted your Jezebel account to third-party authentication, you must do so now. Here's how.
- If you don't want to register to comment, you can use a "burner" account. Say what? From the Gawker Media Help Desk's FAQ:
Signing up using our "burner" account option is the best way to join the discussion with complete anonymity on the Gawker Media network. No part of this account is tied to any information whatsoever concerning your identity.
If you'd like to add your unique perspective to an ongoing conversation or join an engaging thread, you can sign up quickly, easily and anonymously by selecting the "burner" option.
Simply enter an available screenname of your choice when prompted, then be certain to write down or copy-paste the unique account key you receive.
A burner account does not have to be for one-time use. We welcome you to make this wholly anonymous incarnation your own. However, if you lose the "key" initially issued, we will not be able to retrieve this information for you or reset the account.
Save your key! Everything about a burner account is yours to control — which means no old-fashioned passwords stored on-site.
Why use a burner account? For starters, it makes it very easy to tell us your secrets — we're always looking for good scoops and stories. A burner account ensures your anonymity.
Check out the rest of the help desk's FAQ, and email us if Kinja is giving you any guff. I'll be in this post today to answer questions and chat about the changes. If at any point it becomes too much, I suggest taking a breather with some Ryan Lochte pictures. That's my strategy.
Image via Rene Jansa/Shutterstock.