In article after article in the revamped Valleywag all the comments are grayed out. The new business model for Gawker Media is to create several smaller blogs such as Valleywag in order to diversify their subject matter. But Sam doesn't seem interested in his own audience.
Some or most of you probably remember that before the tech bust, Valleywag was its own blog with a full staff. They sought to celebutize Silicon Valley by rummaging through their garbage, photographing the homes of men like Zuckerberg and Jobs, and generally creating a lot of ill will. It was kind of fascinating to watch. These people wanted to be famous, but not within the Gawker tradition. Messy divorces were uncovered, and most of the tech savants were revealed to be sleazeballs.
I guess maybe I shouldn't really care? It's his choice, and it's not a bad idea to earn promotion through good behavior. Maybe Sam Biddle doesn't need to tend to his audience, but most of the Valleywag articles aren't really doing that well, either. (Unique hits are below 10,000 on the majority of articles.) Maybe this is a good opportunity to see how a Gawker site performs without a dedicated commentariat. Which is more important: quality gossip or public participation?