We all know the plebs once called 'burners' are now allotted to the the land of pending submissions, but I'm thinking a more complex hierarchy system is at work on the frontpage.
After you post a comment to a front page article, if you reload you can go back an look to see many clicks to the right your comment has been put to rest. We all know the farther left a comment is, the more accessible it is to readers. Typically, the more responses a comment receives, the farther left it goes (Gawker wants hot threads up-and-center). However, I began to realize that my comments sometimes land farther left than comments with more responses, so there are clearly more forces at work.
I have this feeling that commenters are given some sort of computerized ranking based on how frequently they comment and/or how many replies those comments garner. My comments typically receive a decent amount of attention, which would explain why my comments land pretty far left, right off the bat. They don't, however, receive as much attention as pauljones's or VS's comments, which have a tendency to land even farther left. It's kind of like a commenter reputation value.
I feel the leftward placement of comments is based off a combination of number of responses plus commenter reputation.
TL;DR - Does the Gawker caste live?