New Commenting System Rewards Quality, Confuses the CombudsmanS To keep the comments as fresh and outstanding as they've been up to this point, Commenting Guru Rob Iracane will write a bi-weekly Comment Ombudsman column. It runs every other week. This is that week. Mr. Iracane, co-proprietor of the brilliant Walkoff Walk , is also the guy who approves comments around here, and the fellow to whom you should address any comment account requests, and he will explore issues involved in commenting, what makes a great comment thread, what's working, what isn't, answer your questions, so on. We want the place to continue to be as much fun as it is every day, and it's not an execution thread like our friends at Gawker do. We like to be inclusive here, because if we're not, we'd be forced to rely on our own wit and knowledge, and that's a scary thought indeed. So here's this week's column that further breaks down the changes in comments. Okay, I must admit that I've been reading Deadspin posts using the 'Classic View' for the past two weeks and missing out on the newest change to the way comments are presented to you, the reader. The good folks at Gawker Tech have finally figured out a way to reward our best commenters and to hopefully make the threads a bit easier to digest. Let's explore the changes together.First off, every comment you see will be collapsed unless it meets one of the four following criteria:
  1. It was made recently.
  2. It has been replied to.
  3. It was made by one of your 'friends'.
  4. It was made by a starred commenter.
Yes, all you struggling new commenters now have a new hurdle to overcome in your quest to become the next Weed Against Speed. After a short period of time, your comments will automatically be collapsed, not unlike Carson Palmer's elbow ligament. If you enjoy the work of a certain commenter and want to always see his or her comments expanded, click that little heart by their name and you'll be Deadspin 'friends'. It's just like being Facebook friends except without all that pesky poking. Of course, all of these changes will only take effect if you have 'threaded view' selected in the status bar between the post and the comments. If you go to 'classic view', you'll have all comments and replies expanded, albeit without the clever re-organization that the threaded view allows. We've got a bunch of starred commenters here at Deadspin so you'll always see their witty comments expanded. In the past, folks earned stars by having a certain number of 'friends'. From this point forward, the only way you can earn a star is to be awarded one by me. Those of you who already have earned your stars by the old method will retain them for the near future. However, if you get banned from Deadspin and are allowed back in thanks to my utter graciousness and forgiving ways, your star is gone forever. Speaking of getting banned, let's get rid of some of the ranks of the unfunny: Say Goodbye To: Jubar Why: Questioning the categorization of Deadspin posts. Say Goodbye To: NoBackhands Why: Making an "Eric Lindros is gay" joke that is far more offensive for its poor grammar and punctuation than the homophobia. Say Goodbye To: Lunatic Fringe Why: A cryptic joke that baffled me with its misspelling and hackish political leaning. And where would we be without just one Comment of the Fortnight: Re: Joba Chamberlain's strip club taunter VanBurenBoy: Shouldn't Joba be used to guys from Boston kicking him off his land? Hilarious AND historically accurate!