Anarchy in the Machine: Welcome to Gawker's Open ForumsS

As you admired Gawker's shiny new look, you may have noticed that big "Share" box right up at the top of the page. It's part of our new "open forums," and we really have no idea what's going to happen.

In the four years since comments were introduced on Gawker Media sites (yes, there was a time before comments), your tireless editors have always had a sort of love-hate relationship with the people who are kind enough to take the time to scrutinize our every move. As much as it can drive you batty to try and run an editorial operation in front of an audience of hecklers, our readers also supply the site with some of its best wit and tips. Traditionally the way we've heard from you is either through our tipline or in comments, and then one of your editors has decided whether something is worthy for the site.

Now there's a third way: we're throwing open the site to anyone who wants to publish anything.

The basic way this works is that you can type a comment, upload a photo, or embed a video into that box up top and it will be published on the site wherever you choose by giving it a Twitter-style hashtag. So, got a news tip or link? Tag it #tips and it will show up here. If you saw someone famous, use #stalker and it will go straight to the Gawker Stalker page. Or you can use your own tags. Got something to say about Anna Wintour, send it to the #annawintour page. Have an internal memo to post, tag it #internalmemos. Or make up your own. We're trying to learn to stop worrying and love the chaos.

While this all sounds fairly anarchic (it is), the hierarchical commenting system still applies. If you're not an approved commenter, your posting has to be approved by an editor, moderator, or star commenter and the two-tier system applies to these tag pages, too. And, as always, trouble-makers will be banned. There's a revised Commenter FAQ if you want to brush up.

Oh! And I almost forgot to add: there's now a very cool, long-requested new notification function. When someone responds to one of your comments, there will be a little box on the top of the home page that says "You have TK new replies" and will link you to them. One more: Also long-requested, under "Settings" in your profile, you can set your default comment view to see just the featured comments or all of them as well as whether you'd like to see them in newest first or oldest first. Just click your name at the top of the page to visit your profile.

If you notice bugs, please let us know in comments. Today should be fun.