I am sure that I am not the only person who is on Gather for the primary purpose of reading and commenting on articles, and not to publish.
Recently I was taken to task for having the audacity to express my opinion in the form of a comment without having published any articles. Without a list of articles, this Gatherer informed me, my opinion was worthless.
Why is that? Can it possibly be true that EVERYONE on Gather needs to be publishing articles as well as commenting? Can't some of us exist here for the sole purpose of enjoying (or providing feedback on) the work?
I cannot see how this community can sustain itself when EVERYONE here is in the business of publishing articles. I often read complaints from authors who feel that they are not getting enough comments on their work. How can anyone have the time to conscientiously do both? Read, comment, and publish? Many of us do not have the time, energy or inclination to do it all: publish and read and comment. The vast majority of my time on Gather is spent reading articles. Sometimes I comment. I have never published until now, and the only reason I am doing so is, frankly, because I have been aggressively cowed into doing so.
Frankly, isn't having a community of dedicated "commenters" the most profitable use of Gather resources? We are an audience for the advertisers and yet we earn very few Gather Points, thereby leaving a larger bounty for those who are ardently committed to writing and publishing their work.
Do you agree or disagree that one must publish articles in order to "earn" the right to write to comment? Why do you suppose it is that "newbies" and "commenters" are derided, when in fact without us Gather could not possibly survive?