A few suggestions to improve the Kinja experience.
1) Though it is timestamped December, the helpfile says "follows" are used in the algorithm which determines the highlighted threads. Especially as Kinja evolves away from mostly being the comment system for traditional blogs toward becoming more of an aggregation tool, "follows" will become more important than they have been in the past.
This seems like a good argument for separating a "follow" into three subscription offers: posts, comments and all. The system appears to reward follows and just because you'd like to have a feed of someone's posts or comments doesn't necessarily mean that you want both.
2) Way back, probably three or four years ago, the profile pages included a spot for a web address and they may have also had a place to link a Twitter profile. Last year, Twitters and Facebook links were added back to the author's profiles, but they're not there under this new system. It would be helpful if they were added back for the bloggers and because Kinja actually turns everyone into an author, I'd like the same for mine.
It appears to me that the easiest way to achieve this would be by enabling a "sticky" to be optionally positioned at the top of every blog. Gawker wouldn't need any forms or to use any of their space. It'd just be that everyone could format anything they wanted to say, within Kinja's content restrictions and mark it as an introductory post, perhaps via a tag.
3) Right now the search function on each blog, both the individual and group, search only themselves. It would be nice if they had a toggle to go two or three ways; the default could be the current, maybe it could also be opened to all blogs a person follows, with an third option to search all of Kinja.
4) In regards to what were traditionally called comments, I'd like a share button. It could be one that pops-up on a hover or appears only when a thread is clicked, but Nick has spoken about the importance of Facebook sharing and I'd like for it to be easy to tweet a post with a highlighted thread, or to share someone's comment to a Kinja blog.
5) If you link to a traditional comment under the current structure, there's no mechanism to see replies. The previous system has a clickable reply count and I believe prior to it, there was an arrow, but under 1.0, a link takes you to a dead end displayed as a conversation. This means that not only do you get none of the later replies, but because none of the other comments are clickable, including the first or root, you can't get to any other branches on the same thread.
These are some of the high points, I've come up with thus far.