To Comment, or Not to Comment?

I’ve only asked for your opinion about the way I do things here once, in regards to blog advertising. I think this is a similar case, because we’re talking about whose voice gets heard, and how many voices are in the mix. So…

There’s been much hoopla discussion about blog comments around the corners of the internet I frequent—most recently, the aforelinked Daring Fireball article, Derek Powazek’s thoughtful response and a further clarification from DF. Both articles make some excellent points about why their respective authors choose to go commentless.

I’ve been working on and off on a redesign of this site/blog for a year now, a time period during which I’ve increasingly been building side project sites in Tumblr (to wit, Blankenship à Go-Go, Blankenotes, Haiku Pickup Lines, Prom Night Fist Fight, and soon Notes to Self). Tumblr’s quick, easy, and has some measure of built-in community for sharing/liking/aggregating that I dig. My initial reluctance to use Tumblr was its lack of native comments, but I’ve come to embrace that constraint. Certain types of content just don’t need comments.

I’m not convinced I want to use Tumblr for this blog. There are aspects of the forthcoming redesign, specifically the ability to post work and play projects with ease, that need a full content management system like ExpressionEngine. But the remaining question is one of comments.

Generally speaking, I’ve always appreciated the comments here. When I started blogging in ’04, it was a place for my circle of friends to interact and goof off. Over time, people I didn’t know began reading, participating, and commenting. 99% of the time, the comments are civil, intelligent, and engaging. Against all internet odds, it seems like we’ve built a bit of a community, however loosely or occasionally it manifests itself in a single comment thread.

But is it necessary? Would you miss it? I don’t write with the thought or expectation (well, except in this case, where I’m soliciting your opinions) of comments, so their absence wouldn’t change my writing habits, voice or content. But it would still be a big shift, and I’m curious to know what you think about the possibility.