by Ben Lopez
That’s it. Enable comments. There are a multitude of reasons to do so, and not a single reason why you’d want to intentionally disable them, short of looking to explicitly avoid criticism. I hope no one will take offense to this entry; none is intended, friends. I’m saying this today because it’s something that needs to be said, and I have yet to hear another Tumblr blogger address this persisting issue. Comments give bloggers an interactive incentive to their readers, and the readers are able to further contribute and share thanks when you provide useful, engaging content.
Before I joined Tumblr, I had never HEARD of a blog that didn’t have the option of commenting, at least not by default. To be fair, I realize some Tumblr users are not aware that their comments are disabled, it took me a while to notice it myself. When I started here on Tumblr, as much as I loved the community, I found it absolutely unbelievable that MANY themes intentionally exclude the ability to comment. For the Tumblr staff not to set minimum functionality requirements that designers must include in their themes seems grossly irresponsible to me, and it is hurting the reputation of both Tumblr and its users. Some blogs don’t even have a permalink button! Can you imagine? A non-Tumblr user visiting a Tumblr-powered blog and scratching their head, “Are you kidding me, I can’t leave a comment? What’s the point of blogging like that? It’s like you’re talking to yourself.” Or what if one of your friends on Facebook suddenly did not allow for status update comments or wall posts? Chances are you’re going to be visiting that friend’s page a heck of a lot less, if at all…why should it be any different for blogs?
I’m sure some of you are saying by now, “Oh, shut up, you! I’ll run my blog how I please!” And I get it. I’m not fond of criticism any more than the next guy, but please trust me when I say you have everything to gain by enabling comments. Why has social media become so successful? Because it’s social. Please do not interpret this entry as an act of spite or harsh criticism, this needs to be said for the greater good of the Tumblr community. It’s fairly often I find a really great blog that I can’t comment on at all, which is a shame. I’d love to be able to tell that person how much I enjoyed reading their work.
Take a look at some of the top blogs here on Tumblr. You’ll see that most of them not only have comments enabled, but include a multitude of commenting options (Yahoo, Disqus, Twitter/Facebook Connect, etc) in addition to a standard form so that anyone can comment very easily. They are some of the most-read blogs for good reason; that interactive element is a crucial incentive that gives birth to conversation beyond the original article and brings those hungry minds, those taking pleasure in quality conversation, coming back for more.
For bloggers without comments, did this article change your mind? If not, let’s hear your views on why you still would like to restrict comments. For those that agree with my rationale, I ask that you consider ReBlogging this entry to spread awareness.
Bring forth your comments, questions, and criticisms.