And for those of you who aren't aware, Jeff himself didn't orchestrate or facilitate the changes. SBNation imposed them on all child sites in order to promote more advertisement displays and encourage higher click rates, and things of that nature. Hence the Bleacher Report comparison - those guys do everything for money, SBNation is simply following in their footsteps as they have quite the following now. Too many growing businesses lose site of the customer's perspective when they get a market share of anything.
The old design was far less convoluted, loaded faster, presented material more effectively (for viewers), and was just much less cluttered and busy. I'm sure tons of people skip the front page and head straight to the forums as well, but will never post about it. Either way, there's no getting the old site back, I was just curious as to whether the new design had a direct impact on the lack of user activity on front page articles.
And yes - moving the fan posts section that low was a mistake. Sad, Jeff is now posting things like "fan post Friday" to (ironically) use the new, confusing headline features to bring traffic to the fan pages.
'Tis unfortunate, to say the least