Last week, we rolled out a re-organized and revised version of our comments. Our star commenters's comments will now get much deserved top billing. But that's only half of it.
These starred commenters will also have some interesting new powers. Sadly, few are using them. So cheeky.
The new commenting system now has levels, four of them. Here's a run down of what they are and what they can do.
* A gold star next to the commenter's name.
* Comments given priority and published immediately after post
* A star commenter can see comments even before a moderator has approved them
* By replying to any comment, a star commenter can give it priority
* Promotion of another's comments to the featured section
* Commenters whose thread is given priority by star commenter
* Automatically post their replies to the featured section within their thread
* Can reply to threads.
* Become Guest Stars if a star promotes their thread
* Can reply in threads, though they won't be visible to others until approved
* Can have threads and replies approved by stars
Here's the part that makes me cry and shout and then cry some more and then shout until my throat is raw and hoarse: Few starred commenters are promoting comments from other commenters. And the ones that are, are only doing that for comments they are replying to. Kind of defeats the point of giving humans this ability if they don't use it, don't cha think?
Soooooooooooooooooo... Starred commenters, if you read the site (which we hope you do) and if you see a good comment (which we hope you do), why not promote it? Think of it as like Hyper Multi-Tap, but every damn day of the week. Yay.
How can I become a starred commenter?
Starred commenters are designated by the Editors and Moderators. In the past, Stars were designated by virtue of their popularity among other commenters. That tended to favor the sociable rather than commenters who contributed information to a discussion. Now that Stars' comments are featured so heavily, we need to handpick them. And because we're also featuring the comments to which Stars respond, they must also show judgment in choosing discussions to engage in. Translation: don't respond to trolls.
I'm a Star but I can't see my comment
Even a Star can be off-topic sometimes. Moderators — rather than applying the rather extreme sanction of banning — can now demote an individual comment. So that's why you can't see it among featured comments. Try clicking on "Show all comments."
This is, we at Kotaku hope, the start of a brand new day in commenting. A step toward finally giving some much deserved readers and commenters the spotlight they so richly deserve — but one that needs participation in order to fully come to fruition.