1. Who can leave comments on Valleywag?
Anyone who has been invited, either by us or by a friend. The invite system works like Gmail. We've invited a bunch of our favorite execs, bloggers, and friends to comment, then given them invitations to share with their friends and colleagues. That way, the burden of inclusion, and exclusion, is shared.
2. Why are comments by invitation only?
Because the Valleywag editor wants to spend more time writing and less time moderating comment threads. While comments are invite-only, everyone has a fair shot to earn an invitation.
3. How can I become a commenter?
A) Find a friend with an invitation to share. Many of the people who we've invited to comment have also received invitations to share with friends. We'll continue to seed selected inboxes with invitations to pass on so the supply doesn't die out.
B) Tip us. We're inclined to invite those who've helped us out by dishing gossip our way. If you're looking to comment, raise your chances by sending tips to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
C) Convince us. If you're lurking inside a startup, VC firm, or other Valley company, we're probably interested in having you as a commenter. For instance, we'll send an invite to anyone who works at Google, Yahoo, or Microsoft who asks for one.
D) Blog. If you're a blogger, you've got a stake in what you're saying. Many Valleywag comments invitations have gone out to fellow bloggers whose work we admire.
4. Can I comment anonymously?
Yes, totally. Valleywag's comment system is designed so that you can register and post anonymously. Not even we will know who you are.
Here's how to ensure that you register anonymously. When you click through on your invitation link to the comments sign-up page, create an anonymous username. Then, add an anonymous nickname in your user profile. We won't be able to link your username/nickname with your offline self.
We do ask for an email address so that we can email a new password in case you forget it. To preserve your anonymity, use an anonymous Gmail, Yahoo Mail, or Hotmail account. Or, if you want to remain totally under the radar—and you're good at remembering passwords—just leave the email field blank.
5. Can I be banned from commenting?
Yes, if your comments are excessively self-promotional, obnoxious, or even worse, boring. There will be no warning, and no appeal. (For advice on good comment etiquette, check out Lifehacker's guide to weblog comments.)