The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

20 April 2004

Your two cents' worth

Which would actually cost you two cents, or some other relatively small sum, in this scheme by Roger L. Simon:

I am thinking about adding a nominal — two dollars a month or ten dollars a year, something like that — charge for the use of comments on here. What I mean is that my initial blog posts would remain open as they are now, but you would have to pay the fee to view or to add to the comments, which I would also participate in, as I do now. This would all be done by a simple (I hope) and anonymous registration process.

My primary reason is obviously to make some money out of something that is now taking a far greater amount of my professional time than I had ever anticipated. But adding this small fee might also (he tells himself) help elevate and preserve the already remarkably high level of discourse in the comments by discouraging trolls, racists, etc. As you might imagine, blocking these people is time-consuming, not to say depressing.

Movable Type 3.0 is expected to have a comments-registration function; it would be no particular trick, I suspect, to add, say, a PayPal button to the template.

Of course, if there were some way to charge trolls, racists, and most especially spammers, and let everyone else be, that might be even better, but this presumably would exceed the capability of a mere Perl script.

And there are a few people who visit here whom I'd gladly pay if I thought it might increase their participation.

(Via Stephen Green, who sensibly observes: "I'd hate to drive off those people who lend some valuable insights into issues where I'm woefully ignorant.")

Posted at 3:57 PM to Blogorrhea

TrackBack: 11:31 AM, 22 April 2004
All the big blog boys have comments ... and trolls and spammers and dumbasses (all of which they spend untold hours deleting). Roger L. Simon says he's gonna start charging commenters (Stephen Green of VodkaPundit is willing to pay to play). Dustbu......[read more]

I guess I'm not surprised. It was bound to happen sooner or later. But I find it depressing for an entirely different reason--he actually has a horde of commenters who could be charged. Most bloggers don't.

Posted by: sya at 5:05 PM on 20 April 2004

I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be rolling in dough; I am averaging just under two comments per post. (I have slightly over 2500 posts in the current Movable Type archive, and slightly under 5000 comments.)

And Mr Simon is that most dreaded of creatures, a professional writer; he has a following far beyond mere blogdom.

Posted by: CGHill at 5:50 PM on 20 April 2004

As for paying some of us for more participation (and flattering myself that I might be one of those), since you've already hit my tip jar twice you may consider your invoices paid up for the foreseeable future. ;-)

Posted by: McGehee at 11:06 AM on 21 April 2004