This Is What We Talk About When We Talk About Jezebel's New Discussion System

Okay, folks: It's day two of Kinja, our new discussion platform. Your complaints have all been heard — no, I am not full of shit. I am full of self-serve frozen yogurt and Lean Cuisines (okay, I'm full of a different kind of shit).

First:

Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls.

So here we are; I know many of you are, ahem, displeased. But I want to move forward a little bit and start working with what we've got.

And here's why I like what we've got: I am reading really good discussions. Pretty much from the moment I open a post, there are good comments. I don't have to go looking for diamonds in the rough (for lack of a better metaphor). I definitely hear everyone when you talk about the ease (and fun) of scrolling through comments in the old system. But most readers are not commenters (not yet, anyhow!), and for as many non-commenters who still read comments, the average reader is not going to scroll through 100+ comments, even if the best discussion ever is in there somewhere.

Now it's time for some real talk.

We have an extremely intelligent and active commentariat — but for newbies, it can be intimidating. Be honest: How many of you were too intimidated to wade into comments before you finally did? (Answer: A LOT. I've seen tons of comments saying as much. Christ, I was scared to jump in when I first started and I work here.) That hesitation and/or fear is not necessarily because things were crazy — though, c'mon, at times they certainly could be — usually it's because the comment section was straight-up overwhelming.

Under the new system, we hope, there's a better chance that lurking readers will click through a couple of comments and see discussions first and foremost, and that might make things a little less daunting — and, in turn, those lurkers will lurk no more. And even if that doesn't happen, at the very least they're maybe reading comments more than they were before. These are good things. Even if you're fuming mad and frustrated with all the changes, take a moment to think of good things like this (and/or kittens, butterflies, and deaf people who hear a voice for the first time).

Now, the bad:

Aside from the myriad complaints that we've heard about the design etc., a major issue that we can start tackling right now is the influx of trolls. I know. I know. It's a major drawback, yes, and it's not like we aren't noticing what's going on; we just have to figure out what to do about it. But there is one immediate strategy that every commenter should tattoo onto their brain.

I realize that when someone posts an awful comment, it can be hard to bite your tongue (er, fingers?). But doing so ensures that their comment will appear higher in the comment list than it would if it were to be ignored altogether. By replying, you turned a one-off dickweed comment into a "discussion," and when Kinja organizes all the comments on a post, it will always put discussions before one-off comments.

So do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls. Do not respond to trolls.

Also: Do not respond to trolls. And if they respond on a thread you started, you have the ability to dismiss them.

Also also: Your commenting histories will eventually be restored.


Image by Linn Currie/Shutterstock.