Over on Kinja Product Greg the tech guy has posted some improvements to the new Kinja format that's coming our way.
When you first view a post, you'll see discussion highlights below the post. The group chat highlights includes discussions that the author of the post has participated in. If the the author of a story recommends or replies to a comment from a reader, then all replies from that reader will be displayed in the highlights. If you leave a reply and the author doesn't engage with it, then it's displayed under additional replies (see screenshot). Highlight discussions are grouped by threads.
It's a bit clearer if you see the illustrations and the post.
Also, if you're viewing in the tiger=on mode commenters you are following will have a green check mark across their avatar.