Friday, February 11th, 2011

The Gawker Commenter Day of Rage

You know, with the redesign of any web property comes reader outrage, anger, threats of leaving and even some actual leaving. That's normal! Sometimes it's effective in shifting an audience, or getting a new one. Sometimes it's good for the community to have its say, and work it out on its own. But the comments on this Gawker post are not, I don't think, par for the course for a website after a redesign.

130 Comments / Post A Comment

jolie (#16)

I am so thankful you moved our family over here. Even creepy old Uncle Alex who smells funny and is always trying to push black licorice on us, I'm thankful he's safe and sound too.

Clip Arthur (#2,024)

Leave black licorice alone, missy!

jolie (#16)

I will do no such thing.

Clip Arthur (#2,024)

Then whenever someone gives you black licorice, take, store it and give it to me!

SidAndFinancy (#4,328)

"Black licorice" is redundant. Licorice is only the black stuff (and I agree with jolie here, the stuff that tastes horrible). Licorice is a plant that produces the distinctive flavor. Other flavors of "licorice" are rope candy.

Also, Gawker redesign is almost unimaginably bad.

–SidAndFinancy, former candy maker

Watch that Uncle talk bub. You've been warned.

When life gives you black licorice, make blacklicoriceade!

(warning: does not actually exist. Also, would probably contain ouzo.)

HiredGoons (#603)

Fennel is an abomination.

skywalker (#240,350)

Quality articles is the important to attract the people to pay a visit the website, that�s what this web site is providing. Business

Miles Klee (#3,657)


Alex Balk (#4)

Much like having an image of an ACTUAL FUCKING AWL on the homepage somewhere, this is another issue on which I have been outvoted. Also the weather thingie.

jolie (#16)

@Balk: WAIT THAT IS WEIRD. I was about to add "(But I prefer the new Alex Balk Weather Widget to the old weather thing that didn't work anyway.)" to my SECONDING but I didn't want to stray too far off topic. I do miss the wee awl though. You know I love me an awl!

Smitros (#5,315)

Don't let them take your awl-shaped favicon away.

Me (#389)

Yeah I miss the image of the actual awl. I'm arranging a coup.

jolie (#16)


deepomega (#1,720)


I miss least-viewed very much!

(I also like the weather bug! Someday.)

You guys. You would not believe how often Alex brings up having an awl on the page. (Like people who don't know what an awl is are going to be like, OH, THAT THING!

I am teasing him a bit here but really. Also our favicon is an awl!

narnio (#38)

I made that favicon. True story (just confirmed it).

jolie (#16)

@Choire: Oh no, I'd believe it. AND I LOVE HIM FOR IT, SINCERELY. I'll even pretend to like his licorice out of affection for his devotion to having an awl on the page.

Um "his licorice" is NOT a euphemism.

carpetblogger (#306)

I miss most least viewed too, but also the thingy that kept me logged in as a commenter at all times because I usually don't remember my password.

Matt (#26)

You know what I miss? The newsletter.

I think the last significant comment I ever made here was that I really want the big awl picture back. It's very important. It will increase traffic, if you're into that sort of thing. In my expert opinion. As a matter of fact, if you bring back the pic, I promise only to lurk here, never to comment again.

Ohmygod, the constantly-having-to-log-again thing here (and at the Hairpin) is KILLING ME!! Fixitfixitfixit!

(But I'll continue to do it. Because I love.)

jolie (#16)

@Mantooth: Cho told me that he thinks he's found the solution to the sign-in issues!! Stay tuned!!

Mantooth & Jolie: I thought login failgate was unique to me and my crappy configs (although odd that it happens at home and at work). Would also like to solve facebook/dedicatedawlperson confusion, but I stick around because I'm in love and they don't mean to hurt me.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

Man, if only they held a contest for which obsessive commenter could design the best logo! I bet some of those would incorporate a picture of an awl.

BadUncle (#153)

I think having an actual awl on the page is kind of "see & say."

I know this is coming real late, but if you login using and check "Remember me," you'll be fine.

Enough about Gawker, let's talk about RADAR now!

I had a paper subscription.

HiredGoons (#603)

@BadUncle: show, don't tell.

caw_caw (#5,641)

I love a good calamity. Especially the kind that involves irate commenters.

jolie (#16)

God I know. It's almost as good as catching people breaking up in public!

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

"Hashgangbang" asdf;lkijasdf;kj

Right? That's left me quite breathless.

mickeyitaliano (#2,202)

I think the Jezzie's are making cupcakes/pies that say "Team New Design".

petejayhawk (#1,249)

A lot of those comments are exactly the same comments that were on Deadspin after they redesigned the comment system and de-starred/banned a bunch of people. The "rebel" commenter websites that were set up have all since gone dormant. All the people who left in a huff, declaring that their absence from the comments would be the death of the site, have been replaced fivefold by new readers. The community is easily replaced by uniques, in other words. It's kinda shitty for some people, but it makes money.

Multiphasic (#411)

What the fuck ever, dude. Wordsmoker stays on my CV. It will be my sh-bam, my moment.

Speaking of destarring…

petejayhawk (#1,249)

@chl: Oh hey, I just went over and saw that! Eh, c'est la vie.

DennyCrane (#1,803)

Having been there for that fiasco on Deadspin, I mostly agree, but I do think this is a much more fundamental and sweeping change to the site than that was.

saythatscool (#101)

I think Drew Magary just wants a kiss from you Pete. Nothing gay. He just wants to have a long kiss with you to see what it feels like. Because Drew's never kissed a man and he's not homosexual or anything but he just wants to see what it feels like for a minute. Also, he wants you to hold him in your big strong arms while he kisses you. And then you guys can go back to talking sports and it will be like nothing ever happened. Like you never kissed, but you will have. And it will have been magic.

petejayhawk (#1,249)

I feel bad that I hurt his feelings. Deep down, he just wants to be loved.

Clip Arthur (#2,024)

Ummm, I generally would agree with exactly what you said. Except for one thing specific to Gawker: That site just plain doesn’t work anymore. I can barely login, laggyness is beyond belief, time-outs in odd Ajax content retrieval is all over the place. Anyone who can get past that mess and then find the energy to comment deserves a reward. But guess what? I doubt people who have no idea what Gawker is is going to rush and sign up with a site that has been made infamous for one of the most massive data breaches in the blogosphere and who now has an unusable design that is not going away.

This is like redux.

I am in favor of the Pete&Drewkiss!

Someone actually ended their rant with: "I’m Spirit…and I’m a commenter."

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

THANK YOU for validating my decision not to investigate this matter too deeply.

jolie (#16)

Ha I was just reading that thinking to myself, "WHAT ABOUT THE SUPERGODDESS YOU ASS?? I THREW YOU PEOPLE PARTIES FOR CHRIST'S SAKE, AND NOW WHAT? I DON'T EVEN MERIT A SHOUTOUT??" like, a little bit for serious.

I'm going to go have a talk with myself now.

She was always pretty insufferable, Joles. You come sit here by me on the forgotten-by-Spirit(-A-Commenter) bench.

@ jolie: Like anything over there, an endorsement hardly worth seeking.

saythatscool (#101)

That went well.

BTW, here's my imitation of Nick Denton's twitter feed yesterday:


So he's using social media in new and important ways, as opposed to us primitive tribesmen.

caw_caw (#5,641)

"Are you aware of how many of us have defected?" he wrote, in the very first post.

Elections on the new design are to be held in September.

Neopythia (#353)

I still haven't seen the redesign. I'm condemned to IE6 at the office and I worry if I click over my computer will burst into flames.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

Hint: if it bursts into flames, they'll replace it with better browsing technology. (Which, to be fair, could mean an abacus.)

Clip Arthur (#2,024)

My pity for you and your IE6.

I really want to read all the angry rants, but I can't even scroll things properly. It's like the page is made of molasses or something.

ericdeamer (#945)

The horrifying thing is that as I understand it the weird scrolling/non-scrolling issues are an intentional part of the design.

KarenUhOh (#19)

But enough of this piffle. Who will play Dick Dentyne in the Gawker Media roman-a-clef, The Social Nitwit?

saythatscool (#101)

Win, as always.

bbqcornnuts (#7,753)

Where to find an arrogant British actor…..

Madfall (#9,834)

The bars of Acton or Ealing.

tipsy_hausfrau (#3,827)

Ricky Gervais?

Not fat enough anymore.

El Matardillo (#586)

All the cool kids are now at, where you can see Nick Denton's Pyramid of Fail here:

Actually I find Crasstalk FASCINATING. It seems like a really new organic kind of web thingey!

El Matardillo (#586)

You should acquire it. It can be the People Magazine to your Economist.

Also, Denton should seriously think about acquiring NonSociety as his next brilliant business maneuver.

Multiphasic (#411)

Above jokes notwithstanding, I have no vested interest in the site, but still: respect due to precedence… how is Crasstalk any different from Wordsmoker (Viruswithshoe's ex-Gawker-commenter group blog for Sheila's Martyrs ["We few, we bitchy few"]), besides the better code?

El Matardillo (#586)

Nobody there has any illusions about their talent as writers.

Multiphasic (#411)

Heh. Woof.

Multiphasic (#411)

Except, of course, in regards to Choire's comment–in fact, it seems almost inevitable that any group that strongly interacts the way the Gawker commenters do will eventually spin off into its own relatively self-sustaining web community.

Y'know, based on my convincing statistical sample of two.

bbqcornnuts (#7,753)

I have allusions.

Yeah, actually, I'm curious about how things are being posted to the homepage over there?

El Matardillo (#586)

If you're a known commenter from #crosstalk, you can get an author account immediately, otherwise you have to be a commenter until they decide you're not a troll. Then, it's a standard WordPress setup.

tigolbitties (#2,150)

@el matardillo – thank you! I was going to say that but I worried about the cloud of banning erupting over me again!

@El Matardillo What a perfect analogy to personal bloggers and professional blogs circa 2004-2007. Patterns, they repeat!

El Matardillo (#586)

In fact, it's so easy there is now a post on Crasstalk about this thread. How meta! A post on another website about a thread in a post about another website. Recursion!

This is actually objectively fascinating to me! I haven't seen Wordsmoker in ages, but I'm delighted that it still seems to be up-and-very-much-running. But this Crasstalk seems like it has an even bigger stable of contributors? Man, there have been a lot of waves of Gawker defections…

bbqcornnuts (#7,753)

That's nice to hear. Crasstalk has turned me on to The Awl so that's been a nice outcome for me.

Jasmine (#8)

"I've been in email contact with the Triumvirate at The Awl and informed them that if they didn't comment on this post, I would photoshop Choire with Julia Allison. Balk chimed in and told me to make sure I put an actual awl on it. Cho told Balk to STFU. I asked Balk if he wanted a bear on it, and he said he just assumed there would be one."

So funny. But I just can't keep up with so many comment sections. My head feels like it's going to explode.

jolie (#16)

@Jasmine: Hell, I photoshopped (well, commissioned a photoshop) of Balk with Julia Allison ages ago. It's on his tumblr somewhere.

there is also the facebook group for crasstalk. it's also fairly active and linking to this. there is also an open list of people essentially outing themselves from their commenter names.

DennyCrane (#1,803)

I actually like the new design, but that post with the video makes me feel like Nick's yelling at everyone, "Look! I have a VISION! Don't you get what I'm trying to do here! WHY DON'T YOU GET IT?!?!???"

Really? It made me feel like I was stuck in economy while some airline told me why I was putting up with flying with them.

Matt (#26)

Number 23 Funniest Tumblr According to the New York Observer SUMMER OF MEGADETH meta clog promises to never redesign its web site.

… but does it promise never to replace its lead singer with a young fan swept from obscurity by his unbelievable live audition?

Matt (#26)

We promise to always do that. Every day. Constantly. Ripper Owens or GTFO

Pop Socket (#187)

Meh. People get used to anything. Even buggy broken Ajax-dependent gossip site commenting systems. At this point I'm about to go all Stockholm Syndrome on it.

It's utterly hilarious. The first time I've felt like wading into the comments over there in YEARS, and the site is such a trainwreck that impatience is overruling schadenfreude.

Smack (#95)

I wish I waded in Gawker comments less frequently, it always really depresses me. I can't believe I have Website Nostalgia.

Oh I just felt like stirring up some shit. That's why I wore my waders over there.

neel (#239)

Wait, question: if Choire is commenter #2, and Balk is #4, presumably Cho is #1. SO WHO IS #3?!?!?!

I won't be able to sleep until someone answers this for me.

Multiphasic (#411)

Cho is #3. #1 is Admin. Admin never says anything, she just silently judges.

Matt (#26)

The Awl is all about callbacks.

Leon (#6,596)


GoGoGojira (#2,871)

It's like that "senior prank" where you get three pigs, paint numbers 1, 2, and 4 on them. Then you release them in the school, so that the administrators will catch them and spend days looking for an elusive number 3 pig.

GailPink (#9,712)

It's just sad, but strangely deserving and appropriate, what's happened to Gawker since the horrendous re-design. I stayed loyal to the site and its affiliates, long after they banned me (for no reason) from commenting on any posts, because I enjoyed the content and snark, even if I could only observe and not participate. Now that you literally cannot even read a post on that site, I'm gone. The more readers that defect, the happier I will be.

Also, someone pointed out that there's an AWESOME greasemonkey script available that converts most of the gawker sites back into their original form ( Unfortunately, it doesn't work on io9. Which come to think of it is a particularly low blow. But whatever, if you read the others you'll like it.

MikeBarthel (#1,884)

I haven't been able to understand how Gawker comment threads work since like 2 redesigns ago. :(

Multiphasic (#411)


Jasmine (#8)

Same here. Actually, I stopped reading entirely once Balk left. When was that?

Jasmine (#8)

Which was actually a blessing because my e-mail wasn't even in their system when it got hacked! Rather, this weird e-mail I don't use anymore was on their hack list.

hockeymom (#143)

Gawker is like the popular, mean girl at high school. You feel really lucky to hang around her because it's super cool and you're in! Then one morning you wake up and think "meh, she's kind of superficial, dresses slutty and all she wants to do is talk about the same petty stuff all the time." And you move on.

Except with hashbangs and whatever.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

I wouldn't date that girl, but I'd hashbang her.

jolie (#16)

Hmm: Out of curiosity I tried to log in to Gawker and it's not recognizing my email address at all (tried to reset my password because God only knows what it is now after The Great Password Foul-up of Aught- wait, when did that happen again?) Did they just wipe out people's accounts?

I haven't been able to log in in a number of weeks, either. I… don't care?

Multiphasic (#411)

I am inexplicably still logged in, having last commented about three months ago.

jolie (#16)

Yeah I really don't either. I just sort of shrugged and came back here.

jolie (#16)

Though I will say this: I will be sad on the day I discover that I no longer care about things going wrong at Gawker.

City_Dater (#2,500)

Haven't been there in a while, but all this got me intrigued, so there I go and…Bleah. I didn't even try to sign in, but I bet I can't either.

Old schadenfreude never dies, Joles.

cherrispryte (#444)

I know I changed my password to something like "H8UDenton" but now I can't figure out exactly what I did. And clearly, no email address attached. So, well done me?

Jasmine (#8)

See above: same with me. I have no real account there. Not sure how/when it happened but only noticed once the hack occurred…

Weird thing for me was I was still logged on for a while after the hack. (And apparently not compromised?) But I think I was somehow commenting without an associated email address? Is that even possible?

El Matardillo (#586)

It's like the breakup of the Soviet Union. Crasstalk is Estonia at 4:20pm.

Apropos of nothing, damn there are some low commenter numbers in this thread. It's all "RRRRR UHHHHHH BRAINS" and "SSSS! FOOLISH MORTALS HAVE BROKEN THE AMULET THAT BOUND ME IN EVERLASTING SLEEP!" around here.

Haha, just joking! Please don't use my blood to rejuvenate your dessicated corpsey skins!

Br. Seamus (#217)


I'm afraid I need the blood of virgins to conduct my rejuvenating rituals, so I'm all out of luck here.

petejayhawk (#1,249)

I miss Gawker commenter numbers.

semiserious (#2,430)

I actually like the redesign, and someone is going to have to explain the commenter problems to me because I'm not having them. Then again, I don't comment that much.

Anyway, I think the best part of the redesign is that it gets rid of those daily "like us on facebook" posts.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

When did Rod T and KUO stop commenting there? That's when I stopped reading.

Madfall (#9,834)

Forgive me for asking as a total newbie, but do the Gawker commentariat always kick off like this? At the moment it's like a Runescape riot in there, I'm a fairly recent recruit to the Gawkerverse, so I don't know.

cherrispryte (#444)

I think it depends how define "always" ….. many moons ago, commenters were a happy, albeit snarky bunch. As the bestest editors left, and as Denton started fucking with the site – new commenting formats, the two-tiered commenter system, more intrusive ads, etc, people have been increasingly pissed off. I think the password hack REALLY angered people, and now he's gone and made the sites damn near impossible to navigate.

Madfall (#9,834)

Sorry, by 'always' I did indeed mean when Denton screws around with the fundamentals of the site, thank you for your answer.

migraineheadache (#1,866)

I think they should have gone all the way with it and ditched all the text and just had one of those oddcast avatar things read the story to you while youtube and jpegs opened and closed in randomly placed pop-up windows.

katiechasm (#163)

The next redesign will be a perpetually scrolling website. It does not stop, it only goes faster.

migraineheadache (#1,866)

I like that I think I would make it fake 3d like that old windows screensaver and maybe change the logo to a cheetah with a newspaper cape.

Nick Douglas (#7,095)

And call it Sploid.

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