We have the first signs of Gawker Media’s anticipated new commenting system — Gawker users are being asked to update their registration in preparation for the changeover to what’s been code-named Pow-Wow.
We don’t yet know a ton about Pow-Wow, but it appears to center around creating limited-access comments for people with significant knowledge of the post’s subject. Nick Denton talked about this at SXSW. (“The ultimate goal of the new system, Denton said, would be to attract people like American Apparel’s Dov Charney or NBC’s Brian Williams — who are at the center of news on Gawker sites — to chime in themselves.”) And you may remember a Nick Denton memo (via David Carr at the Times) from January touching on the subject:
The new comment system (coming in the spring) is designed to promote intelligent discussion. And there’s no better way to spark intelligent discussion than by publishing an intelligent article. We plan to make the new discussion areas civil enough to encourage authors, experts and celebrities to come in for open Web chats. But writers should feel the comments are a place that you can develop your points with your sources, tipsters and friends. You should be looking forward to seeing the reaction to your article, not avoiding toxic commenters. So we’ll radically overhaul the comment system technically to keep interesting conversations from being derailed.
— Joshua Benton