"Well, you really got yourself into it this time," LRC Publisher Burt Blumert told me. "No matter what you do, you are going to disappoint some great people."
Burt was referring to my asking you about an idea that has long been in the files, so to speak: a regular letters-to-the-editor column. I knew there was interest-I had gotten letters on it from time to time. What I didn't predict was the torrent of passionate responses. Indeed, a selection of the eloquent emails I got would make a great column in itself. Thanks so much to everyone who wrote.
The majority said, Do it! But I was convinced by the minority (not for the first time). They explained that what they liked about this site was its filtering. Letters, unless carefully edited, would violate this key canon of web success.
But the existence of a column would call forth a huge volume of letters-I already get many, and always read and respond-and therefore more work, and as long as LRC remains a one-man-band, they told me, a new job might have a deleterious effect. This was also Burt's view, I should add.
Others noted that they like being able to write the authors, and that they always answer too, and they prefer private correspondence to public. You should ask the really good writers to turn their letters into articles, I was told. Indeed, I already do that.
So here's what I decided: eventually, we may have such a (tightly edited) column, but only when the site's finances grow to allow it. Thanks again to all the arguers on both sides. No question: this site has the smartest, most committed readers on the web.
Not that I need to say this, but always feel free to tell me what you like-and don't like, including this decision. Thanks for reading, and caring about the ideals for which this site stands.
December 15, 2001
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