Dear Tablet Magazine,
I read an article on your site today. It’s not a common thing, I don’t stop by every day, but as with so much of the great content on your site, I liked the article. Indeed, I agreed with it, and felt that I – as a Jewish writer of Jewish children’s books - had something to add to the dialogue.
That’s why I scrolled down to comment… only to find THIS:
Commenting Charges! But I don’t need to tell YOU that, of course. It was YOUR c̶a̶s̶h̶ ̶c̶o̶w̶ idea.
$2 per day. Ouch.
And then I saw THIS – your largely nonsense-based explanation of how there’s so much spam out there that you want to charge me $180 a year for the privilege of adding my text to your site (usually, people pay ME for my content – that’s what being a writer is all about).
(Oops – sorry, it’s not a FEE, it’s a commitment to “the cause of great conversation,” as if your site is surely the only place I will be conversing over the next 365 days.)
You’re also quick to assure me that if I don’t have $18 handy (like if I’m using it for other things, like raising my Jewish family), or I just don’t feel like paying, then I can try to get your attention in some inferior cheapskate way, like Facebook.
I know, I know, it’s not actual MONEY, it’s a “largely symbolic measure” to create a more pleasant environment – ie, one without me in it.
But here’s the best part, Tablet Magazine.
Oh, yes, it does get better.
I scrolled down to see how much conversation your thought-provoking article, posted back in September, had received. I was curious to see how many suckers had paid you their mandatory $18/$180 conversation fee, er, I mean, symbolic gesture.
The answer? Exactly ONE.
Which eager Jewish participant was willing to chip in to join the conversation?
Yup, a spammer, complete with a link to their commercial URL in the user name. Now that’s what I call a “pleasant and cultivated environment.” Feh.
Call it hubris, but I believe my contribution might have been worth a little more than this.
Spammers, 1: Actual, interested users: 0.
And that, Tablet Magazine, is why I think you have it all wrong. Conversation and community are part of what makes great sites great. Add all the obnoxious captchas you need to. Charge for premium content if you must. But for the right to TALK about the content?
All I can say is “thanks 1,000,000 and please continue the rewarding work.”
What do you think? Am I right? Or am I the only one who finds this offensive???