I support your idea in the sense that it is more democratic and favors us, the happy mutant peanut gallery, as a worthwhile entity. Most certainly, the example you cite is a dumb addition to the article page. But honestly, I don’t really care about “promotion.”
BB readers ought to be using the BBS, in which case they’re gonna see everyone’s comment. But, I guess there’s a lot of traffic on the article pages due to casual readers and folks “passing through.” So, this makes me think that the promoted comments are a way of advertising the forum. But I don’t particularly want people that are just “passing through” using the forum, anyway. By the same logic, I don’t really care if they read my comment, either. Now, if our comments were considered valuable and like youtube we actually got paid for drawing traffic to the site, then this would be of vital importance. But as it stands, I’m kinda like “so what?”
I guess what I’m saying is I don’t understand why we have promoted comments in the first place, but maybe there are good reasons and I’m not approaching the idea correctly?
However–yes: if we are going to have them, I suppose they’re worth doing correctly.
We’re not interested in algorithmic promotion, by and large. The inevitable result is the feeling that the BBS is an outhouse for second-class comments that are not worthy–and a disjointed, decontextualized, duplicative selection on the post itself.
It’s our job to pick out insightful, funny, powerful, well-researched responses for presentation on the blog. That’s the standard we’re aiming at for promotions!