Our deepest apologies for making your Friday go by that much slower. If you're in New York, today is a really nice day to take a long break outside somewhere.
There have been a number of other tech complaints — the login button not showing up in the menu toolbar, other browers not playing nicely with the new comments, images not showing up in our RSS feeds — and I'm assured that new servers are being purchased, code rewritten and other tech things that I do not understand are being done to iron things out. It might take the weekend to get fixed, so I appreciate you bearing with us.
But aside from all that, for those of you who have been able to get into comments, what do you think of the first 24 hours of the new hierarchy? So far, we've been pleasantly surprised by the absence of an uprising aside from the general griping that any redesign seems to foster.
The biggest source of complaints seems to be the folks who are unhappy with the whole notion of hierarchy as instituting a caste system. I don't want to refute that notion entirely — exclusivity has its own mystique — but I think some clarification is needed here. The point of dividing the comments into two sections isn't entirely about creating a clique of cool kids. Rather, it's about drawing out the comments that are going to be interesting to our many, many readers who don't make a habit of jumping into comments without scaring them off with a lot of the commenter games that don't make much sense outside Gawker's own commenter community.
For a long time, stars were handed out to people who commented regularly with some level of wit or insight. With the new star powers, we're changing the criteria a bit: we're looking for people to help us filter out those most brilliant comments that lots of people come to the site to read. So, instead of simply handing stars out to the people we like — we love all our commenters equally! (that's not true) — we've made the stars more about responsibilities than popularity.
For instance: if you have a star, try promoting the most worthy of the unstarred. Your name will appear right under the comment (earning you good will and who knows what else) by using your thumbs up tool. And it also means steering clear of trolls and the idiots since anything a star commenter responds to gets promoted to the featured section.
And, of course, you should know that if this sounds like too much of a chore, then Gawker still has a place for people to come and chat with their friends. Just click "Show all comments" at the bottom and comment to your heart's content. Assuming that the comments will load for you, of course.