OK, friends, to give the new World Table comment system a true tryout, we’ve set the parameters. You will need a rating of over 40 to comment or give ratings. Comments with a cumulative negative or strongly negative rating will collapse, though readers can click and read them if they want to.
Now that the standards have been set, it’s time to stop playing around by purposefully giving or earning bad ratings to see what will happen. There will be real consequences, and they will be hard to reverse. I can still ban people outright, which I will do in the case of troll attacks, as well as blatant attempts to punish people you don’t like. Instead of just giving a post you don’t approve of the extreme worst ratings in every category, use some nuance and be fair. (You may not find our resident liberal gadfly’s comment to be “helpful,” but he is seldom disrespectful and is nearly always honest. To rate otherwise is bearing false witness.) Again, I can ban people, but I can’t bring them back from the phantom zone if they fall below 40.
As for facilitating discussion, I am told that we will be getting the option of chronological order. (Also the option of ordering by strength of rating. As well as by latest first, for readers who want.) World Table has been hearing your complaints and is taking them seriously, promising refinements accordingly.
Whether or not Patheos will adopt this system permanently and for all of its blogs or if blog authors will have a choice are all open questions. But let’s give it a chance.