Or so says Gawker.
Actually, the New York Times itself posted yesterday about the new commenting system on its site, and Gawker posted about that, adding that the staid paper is a total copycat. The Times says:
The first thing you’ll probably notice is an entirely new design, which for the first time brings our readers’ comments onto the same page as the article or blog post… Comments are now threaded, giving readers the ability to respond to one another. In addition, we’ve added tie-ins to social media: comments, both yours and others’, can now be shared to Twitter and Facebook.
Which is pretty standard, but then:
And finally, we are introducing a program for “trusted” commenters — those who have maintained a history of posting outstanding comments on the site. Submissions from these members of our community will not be moderated in advance. Trusted commenter status is offered by invitation only.
You may notice the description closely mirrors the system used by Gawker- which, one might note, hasn’t really won them any popularity awards among readers and provoked many of them to leave en masse to create the site Crasstalk. (The exodus hasn’t swayed Nick Denton at all, and the blogging mogul seems to want to alienate potential commenters even more with further locking down of the comments section.)
Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan posted about the new system adopted by the Times in the site’s characteristic style, insinuating that the Gray Lady lifted the system wholesale off the popular snark-blog:
In this wild “new media” world, it’s important for all of us—respectable newspapers and parasitic oxpeckers alike—to share freely, in a spirit of holiday cheer. So we were happy to see this morning that the New York Times has decided to borrow our commenting system. It’s really the least we can do for you guys!
Will the commenting hierarchy work as well at the country’s paper of record as it does on the country’s leading source of news slash gossip?