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A Comment on Comments
Over at South Knox Bubba's blog, a liberal troll named Lurch is lambasting me for not having a comments feature on my blog. There are two basic reasons I don't have comments. 1. Blogger doesn't have that feature built in. 2. Third-party vendors' free comments software I've seen on other's sites has seemed bug-riddled, and I don't feel like having to bird-dog it. 3. I'm too lazy to move my blog over to MovableType and don't feel like going through the hassle of porting all my Blogspot archives over to an MT blog in the process. Okay, that's three reasons.

Beyond that, it amazes me that people who wish my blog didn't exist, and who wouldn't pay a dime to read it, think they have the right to tell me how to run it - and believe they know I chose Blogger because it didn't have a comments feature built in, because I wanted to stifle the voices of those who disagree with me. A bunch of tin-foil-hat nonsense, that.

I've been blogging since November 2001, and when I started this blog I had never heard of MovableType and, like everyone else, got started via Blogger.com. I hadn't even seen Instapundit yet - or any other blog for that matter - when I started. I was working for a competitor to Moreover.com and was on their website and ran across a beta test they were running involving Blogger, so I thought "Hmm. what is Blogger?" and went to the Blogger.com website and checked it out and, eventually, started this blog primarily as a free website to offer additional information related to my weekly newspaper column - things like resources, links, added commentary, etc. It eventually evolved into a stand-alone blog, and by the time I realized MovableType was much more functional and had better features, I had a ton of stuff in my blogspot archives and was familiar with Blogger, bugs and all.

I also started another blog on Blogger, called Osama's bin Bloggin', a satire that got a ton of traffic - about 50,000 hits from March 5 through June 1, 2002, thanks to links from a lot of big sites like WSJ's "Best of the Web," Slate, Howie Kurtz at WaPo, Instapundit and more. So I had two Blogger blogs going, and I got very comfortable with using Blogger despite its flaws. And I'm just too lazy to switch.

Considering I've received only about $400 in donations - through the tip jar and mailed to me - because of this blog, I don't think I need to turn it into a full-time thing, or cater to Lurch's desire to tell me what features I ought to offer. If Lurch wants me to put on a comments feature, he can send me a check for $250 or make a donation in the tip jar for that amount, and I'll get it done by the end of the week. Otherwise, Lurch, forget it.

Andrew Sullivan rakes in tens of thousands of dollars from readers of his blog - he has a responsibility to give them the features and content they want. I don't, and I don't, Lurch. But just as soon as my tip jar starts bringing in that kind of money, Lurch, I guarantee you I'll be just as responsive.

I'm not in the business of encouraging democratic discourse on my blog, Lurch. I'm sure not in the business of giving you a platform, a megaphone and an audience for your wacky views. I'm in the business of telling people what I think, and providing links to things I think people should read. Most of my readers just say "thank you." A few send emails with links to things they hope I'll find interesting, or emails with encouraging comments. A very few donate money. Almost nobody is arrogant enough to think they have a right to tell me what features I should have on my blog. It's free, Lurch. If you don't like it, too bad. And if you think the world needs more blogs with a comments feature for you to fill up with your inane rants, Lurch... start one.