I think they nail it below. We were very much ahead of our time - but not so ahead if they had just kept it running - it would have been ENORMOUS.
Death Of Print: 5 ways the newspapers botched the Web: "They shut it down after the bubble burst, even though they could have kept growing it, for just the cost of the servers. The Times was always nervous about quality. It was user-generated content, not high-quality editorial and this was before they got down in the dirt with About.com. If they had just left it alone, it would have been ENORMOUS by now
Even when you can't sell adds on ENORMOUS, it's still good. Google News doesn't serve ads. Maybe Abuzz could have referred traffic to NYTimes.com like Google News does to Google. Google calls that trick $100 million. You know what the newspaper's call revenue gimmicks like that? They can't remember."