Howdy. We've been working on this new discussion system for just about a year now—almost nonstop—and I'm pretty pumped to announce that it is officially in effect, starting with this post. It's called Kinja, and we really, really, really hope you like it.
I know: This is a new thing on the Internet, and new things on the Internet are traditionally met with ire and seething skepticism. But honestly, this was created to make Gizmodo a better place to hang out. For you. And us. Like, together!
1) Stars were a bad idea. They created social stratification in a place that should not be concerned with such things. The Internet is one of our culture's great equalizers, where anyone can make a huge impact. This is one of the main goals of the new discussion system. In fact, one of its stated goals is to erase the stratification between the readers and authors, to recapture some of that Internet magic from when the conversations on a site were as or more interesting than the posts to which they referred.
2) Banning really messed this place up, and we're sorry about that. Ugh, the banning. And the suspensions. And #trollpatrol and #devnull. Enough! We're not doing that stuff anymore either. It created an unnecessarily antagonistic relationship that was not fun for anyone. We make this Internet together, and the new system is a commitment to that.
But here's the thing: As misguided as stars and banning were, they existed to solve a real problem, which is the management of a discussion thread. Some people have interesting things to say; many don't. Some are just plain dicks. The challenge that a discussion platform faces is the pruning of a comment thread to remove the bad comments and highlight the good ones. Here's how we're going to do that:
- You are the master of your own conversation. That means, if you start a thread, you own it, and if someone waltzes in and drops a non sequitur or a dumb joke right in the middle of a really nice discussion, you can dismiss it. How? You use the dismiss button, which looks like this:
- Every thread of discussion has its own unique URL, and you can share one by clicking on the timestamp.
- Remember how we asked you to convert your commenter account to a third-party-verified one to keep using it? You still need to do that. Here's how.
- If you'd rather not register, you can use a "burner" account. What's a burner? 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? It makes it easier to tell us stuff anonymously, and we work for tips.