I have to admit, reading Valleywag was a bit of a guilty pleasure. The online publication, which was part of Gawker Media, is akin to the tech world’s Perez Hilton. Gossip about silicon’s celebrities is dished up daily and served to geeks’ RSS feeds everywhere.

Valleywag was folded in 2008 and became a column in the overall Gawker site. Too bad… it was fun to see people get so upset over its (essentially tabloid) articles.

The main criticism people had of Valleywag was its willingness to publish unverified gossip in order to be the first to break developing stories. In Valleywag’s defense, the stories weren’t presented as fact, the magazine disclosed that it was operating on unverified rumour, and it was quick to update as new information became available.

That said, the wider issue is that a publication of Valleywag’s size and reach has a responsibility to get its information right the first time because the majority of its readers do not come back to check the updated status of new items - they expect to have already received the full story. The irony here is that the very thing that made Valleywag popular - the speed at which it spread its gossip - is what is was most criticized for.