A huge amount of work stands behind this blog. Though there is a donation button here, we get about twenty dollars per year on average. We fund this research out of the sale of our books and out of our own pocket. Original research is expensive. In the past four months we’ve spent more than good sense would permit. Off the blog we get support for which we are truly grateful. One long time blog reader purchased material for us. Others have done the same in years past. We appreciate this.
I did not write this to ask for donations. While we have monthly expenditures, we’re usually capable of handling them on our own. And we get unexpected help. A university librarian found our work important. She scanned a booklet from their library, the only surviving copy, and waved their fees. So instead of costing us the forty-five dollars we expected, it cost us nothing but politeness. And the booklet is useful. We will quote from it, though probably not in volume two. Certainly we will in volume 3. We’ve already added a paragraph to a ‘finished’ chapter.
The work that our contributors and Bruce and I put into writing our books and posting on this blog merits something more than a parasitical use of our work. We live in an age when people do not feel responsible for the use they make of other’s work. This is wrong. Blog statistics tell us that we get something under 100 return visits a day. And we get new visitors who may read one article and not return, their curiosity satisfied. Of the regularly reoccurring visitors, fewer than ten comment on anything like a regular basis. Visitors to this blog reap the work of others. It satisfies your curiosity; it interests you; some use it as resource material for their own work.
But you do not comment. One of our contributors excuses that by saying comments or not, we’re generating interest in the subject. However, the original purpose of this blog was to further our research. One way for you to do that is to comment. Comments, like reviews, need not be elaborate. And I realize that most readers do not understand Watch Tower history, or any aspect of religious history, at much depth. But a simple, “oh, how interesting” would do. As it is, you’re eating from our plate of cookies and drinking our milk without a simple ‘thank you.’
The ideal comment is one that informs or leads us to something new. Sometimes a question from a reader does that for us. I feel very unappreciated. I’d have left this project a long time ago, except Bruce is dependent on my help given his health issues. No-one knows this subject as well as he does.
This letter to our readers will not improve anything but my disposition. And that is doubtful. But it is my belief that we owe something to those who produce important work. Apparently most of those who read this blog [And Roberto’s forum posts] do not believe they owe anything to anyone.