I don’t want to seem to be beating up on –C, because that’s not my intent at all. There’s some neat stuff on that blog, and I hope it garners the author what’s desired. And mulling over responses to my last post, I realized something that should have been obvious to me from the get-go about this.
Folk wisdom to the contrary, talk isn't always cheap. The truth is, -C, by charging in commentary for his work, was asking too much. If your readership is a bunch of college students with lots of time on their hands but always strapped for cash, yes, exchanging words for words is a more than fair trade.
But the bulk of the OSR is clearly old farts with jobs. And families, and interests outside of gaming. Thoughtful, insightful, and useful commentary, forget full-blown critique, is hard. Sometimes I can whip up one of these blog posts in a quarter-hour, 20 minutes. And I'm a professional. I imagine most folks can take the better part of an hour easily to write, massage, and post 300 to 400 words.
That’s time that could have been spent ensuring the next promotion, landing a new client, or in any number of ways that actually put jingle in your pocket. It can actually be cheaper, as well as easier, for you to pay $10, $20, or even $40 for gaming materials then to spend (there’s a reason that’s the word to use there) a half-hour commenting on them.
Time is money, and the older we get the more expensive time tends to be. This is why building a community is harder than acquiring customers. Folk wisdom also tells us that the customer who complains is worth their weight in gold, because most will simply stop buying from you and never tell you why. Feedback is awesome, but incredibly hard to get, even under the best of circumstances.