Meet Kinja, our new discussion system at io9

Today we bring you a new system for having discussions on io9. It's called Kinja, and it looks a lot different from the comment system we had before. We've gotten rid of some features we thought were problems. And we're trying out a new way of creating modular discussions so that you have more control over what you see and who you talk to when you join the conversations here.

If you're a regular commenter, there are the two big changes you'll notice in Kinja right away:

1) We've gotten rid of stars. That's right — no more freakin' stars! Why? They created social stratification and competitiveness in a place where all we really want to do is have good conversations, debates, and creative exchanges.

2) There is no banning.

But here's the thing: Banning and stars existed to solve a real problem, which is the management of a discussion thread. Some people have interesting things to say; many don't. Some are just trolls. So how do you structure a comment thread to remove the bad comments and highlight the good ones?

Here's how we're going to do that:

  • You run your own conversation. If you start a thread, you own it. If someone comes in and drops a non sequitur or a dumb joke right in the middle of a really nice discussion, you can dismiss it. (Here are some of our guidelines for having civil discussion on io9.) To dismiss someone from a conversation, just use the "x" dismiss button ("A" in the image below).

    Meet Kinja, our new discussion system at io9

  • We're trying a new way of organizing branches in a discussion, which io9 moderator Eridani calls "modular." To start a new thread, click "reply to this post" ("B" in the image above), and to see threads, click each icon at the top of the discussion section ("C" in the image above).
  • And by the way, our discussion forums aren't going anywhere. Observation Deck is still there! Our moderators aren't going anywhere, either, so you'll have expert help moderating your conversations.
  • Every conversation thread has its own unique URL, and you can share one by clicking on the timestamp.
  • Changes to commenter accounts:

  • Remember how we asked you to convert your commenter account to a third-party-verified one to keep using it? You still need to do that. Here's how.
  • You can be anonymous! If you'd rather not register, you can use a "burner" account. What's a burner? From the Gawker Media Help Desk's FAQ:

  • Signing up using our "burner" account option is the best way to join the discussion with complete anonymity on the Gawker Media network. No part of this account is tied to any information whatsoever concerning your identity.

    If you'd like to add your unique perspective to an ongoing conversation or join an engaging thread, you can sign up quickly, easily and anonymously by selecting the "burner" option.

    Simply enter an available screenname of your choice when prompted, then be certain to write down or copy-paste the unique account key you receive.

    A burner account does not have to be for one-time use. We welcome you to make this wholly anonymous incarnation your own. However, if you lose the "key" initially issued, we will not be able to retrieve this information for you or reset the account.

    Save your key! Everything about a burner account is yours to control—which means no old-fashioned passwords stored on-site.

  • Check out the rest of the help desk's FAQ here, and let us know if Kinja is giving you any problems. Folks from io9 and our incredible tech team (thanks and köszönöm, you guys!) will be in this post today answering your questions.