Make the Voices Stop

I noticed earlier this evening that my Tumblr account has gained the ability to write comments on other people’s posts, and to see comments written by others. Quite how or why it’s taken Tumblr so long to re-institute comments is anybody’s guess, but I’ve got a fair idea.

I think you can pretty safely describe the management at the top of Tumblr in a similar vein to Snow’s presidency in The Hunger Games – a disconnected oligarchy. When comments went away I don’t think there was any plan to bring them back at all. Two things happened though – Yahoo ran into massive money trouble, and the users of the platform (who we might think of as merchandise, as users of all free services are) began to leave en-mass. Faced with the prospect of making Tumblr look saleable, the engineers have built comments back in, and the marketers have tried to make it look like it was planned all along. Yeah, right.

It’s funny – in a strange way I’m almost dreading the return of replies to Tumblr. It adds a pressure to be more present. I can no longer post stuff and walk away, and I can no longer flick through the stream of recent posts from those I follow, hitting J, K and L as I go. I guess being more present also plays into my hands though – being the kind of person that will take the time to write. I can just see myself spending hours commenting now though – and I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing.

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