According to this scary looking Christian Republican programmer, "gather is the google of web 2.0!" (he says it somewhere in here, but due to his shit code, there seems to be no way of linking to the individual comment). Anyway, if he is right, then web 2.0 is a pretty crappy place. No surprise there. The comparison may be a bit exaggerated, however.
What gather actually is is a miserably awful blogging site that's somehow or other connected to public radio. (One of the questions they ask when you register is how often you listen.) So, you might think, the people there must be a bunch of pretentious old hippies and political know-it-alls, but at least they're probably kind of classy and halfway literate and stuff. Well, you'd be right about the first part.
The softwarez running the site sucks in a big way. There is no threading, just "articles" following by a long string of "comments," so complex flame wars are very difficult to follow. There's practically no way to customize anything, linking is difficult (see above), and searching doesn't work well. The users are all excited about what they call "the update" (apparently they mean "upgrade"), but the main effect of that seems to have been that now every comment is surrounded by an orange speech balloon (or is supposed to be: see screenshot.
Everyone there is very concerned with gaining "gather points" — whoever has the most wins something (the right to have their articles posted somewhere where people might actually see them, I think). Noone knows exactly how teh super-sekrit gather point formula works, but they are all sure it has something to do with how many comments your articles get. This causes a dilemma for flamers: oh noes, your nasty comment will give points to your hated enemy!!!!1! Needless to say, a fine source of drama.
There is also a rating system (this is different from "gather points"). Here is an article that was rated 10/10. This fucktard who thinks she is an "empath" got 9.2/10 and 60 comments, nearly all along the lines of, "Yes, I know what you're going through, I've known I was an empath for many years." Basically, in a nutshell, if this site represents the NPR audience, all of us are in big trouble.
Gather is part of a series on
Visit the Sites Portal for complete coverage.