Honestly, Slashdot has been one of my favorite websites ever since it was shown to me in high school. Within a year or two after I started reading Slashdot, it became *the* place to become "in the know" with what was going on in technology.
A big part of the direction that Slashdot has moved in has been a product of this. More and more people knew that Slashdot was a place to go to to get "in the know," but the pool of truly enthusiastic, sharp, science and engineering minded people became diluted with people who simply wanted to be associated with that. Everyone wanted to participate, and the signal to noise ratio went down. It's unfortunate, but the thing that initially attracted people here was largely due to your vision and your efforts. I don't believe that your departure is likely to improve the site. I know that I, at times, have been critical of the direction that Slashdot has gone in (and at times you have expressed frustrations with the site yourself, or at least, frustrations with what you should do with it), but this change in direction has largely been a product of the change in readership. It has been your vision that has managed to keep it sane.
What is truly unfortunate is that, looking around the Internet for a site that gives me the same enjoyment that Slashdot did in its heyday, I have come up empty-handed. It really does feel like there is nowhere online for the old-school geek anymore. Everyone wants to be part of that now. In fact, being a "hipster" now involves saying how geeky and quirky you are. It's pretty annoying seeing kids who can't even program move in on my turf like that.
Anyway, thanks for all of the effort that you've put into this site, and I honestly do hope that we meet at an Open Source convention of some sort someday. If we do, I'll buy you a beer.