Ben Pieratt, on the benefits of Tumblr’s lack of a native comment system:

Tumblr feels very safe, very supportive. The lack of native comments yields the social equivalent of a long hug. Words are cheap and comments are easy and they can create an environment of base interaction and mild paranoia. Not only does Tumblr disallow these negative contributions, the only system interactions it does support are overtly positive.

Interactions such as liking or reblogging (sharing on your own Tumblr) someone else’s post.

I think the rest of us could learn a few things from Tumblr’s emphasis on sharing and linking back and forth. When’s the last time you published a post with the sole intent of sharing someone else’s great content?

Ben continues:

You could interrupt this by being a jerk in a reblog, but since a member’s primary representation of themselves is a chronological, public display of every contribution they’ve made to the community, you’d have to be a real SOB to make a habit of it.

He’s got a point there. Blogs and tumblelogs feel like cohesive wholes – every post you make contributes to the unified image you present to the world. In contrast, tweets feel disconnected, scattered, despite the presence of Twitter profile pages. Perhaps this is because we primarily interact with Twitter in the form of a crowded, chaotic stream, while blogs are somewhat more like self-contained destinations. Twitter is a crowd; a blog is a home.

I have a hunch that people are generally more respectful on blogs (posts, not necessarily in the comments) than on Twitter. Perhaps Ben’s hit on one of the reasons why.