Yesterday, Gawker re-introduced the pending comments system. At the same time, we participated in the grand Gawker tradition of the COMMENTER PURGE and erased our entire list of followed commenters. If you are reading this and are not a Gawker writer, your comments are probably appearing in grey.
What does this mean? Within "All Replies," only comments made by Gawker writers and followed commenters appear as normal. Comments made by others—"pending comments"—will be rendered in a kind of ghostly grey, and you will be asked to click a button to see them. Since everyone has been unfollowed, all comments not approved or replied are grey. (Only comments that have been replied to or recommended by the author of a post will appear in the "[AUTHOR]'s Discussion" section that appears by default below the article.)
How can I get followed by Gawker? I'm so glad you asked! Over the next few weeks we will slowly be repopulating our follow list. (Your patience and kindness with the speed at which this occurs is appreciated!) Here, broadly, is how to get followed—and stay followed—by Gawker:
- Post good comments.
- Don't post shitty comments.
- Augment the story or add to it. Provide new information or context. Or at least a genuinely funny joke. Don't comment just for the sake of hearing (seeing?) your own voice, or to start a side conversation with friends and regulars.
- Engage with the story or the argument itself. Explain why you disagree. Stay on-topic.
- Don't post meta bullshit about the writers or the site. There is nothing worse than a comment section that is relevant only to the 2,000 people who read every single Gawker post. Comments like "HamNo is angry today!" or "Caity should've written this" are worse than worthless. If you have ever written or even thought the phrase "slow news day?" you should enter into a period of deep self-reflection.
- Don't post the obvious joke. If there is an obvious joke, it has already been made in the comments, and in thousands of peoples' heads. Oftentimes the story itself is the joke, and you do not need to explain the joke. Refrain from posting the obvious joke.
- Read the post before you comment. Think about what the post is saying or arguing. Is the comment you wish to make essentially the thesis of the post itself? Don't make it. You do not need to restate the post's premise as though you are adding anything to the story.
- Be cool and patient. Do not whine or complain or beg or wheedle. Don't be a prick needlessly.
- Be funny. Not "funny"; funny.
- Be smart. Not pedantically or performatively. Show your intelligence; don't tell it.
- Do not respond to or engage with idiots and trolls.
- Most importantly: Wanting to be book is not book. This is key.
Ideally, the follow list will be dynamic: Followed commenters who demonstrate poor commenting abilities will be unfollowed; and unfollowed commenters who show their skills will be followed too.
I'll try to be in the comments here answering questions as possible.