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Welcome back, Chris :-)

Indeed, we're reaching some sort of a consensus, I guess, in the sense that we realise conversation is still happening, but that it is diffuse, often unconnected. Maybe that's how it's always been or how it always seems: it can be difficult to see a tightly knit cluster or network if you're not part of it.

As for tumblr: it's a weird place. It is technically possible to include a comment system on your tumblr, but you have to insert it through CSS in your theme. Many blogs don't bother with it, understandably.

In addition, it is common practice on tumblr to comment by reblogging someone's post and adding your thoughts below the original post. Like replying to an email, but public. In other words, there is definitely a lot of interaction among tumblr users, but the technology doesn't make it super-easy. (That issue again).

Finally, tumblr has become, for whatever reason, a space where minorities of all kinds have been able to carve out a niche (clusters?) for themselves, which is very valuable, in my opinion. I hope that in the wake of the takeover by Yahoo, this will continue to be possible.

Cheers, Oscar! I'm intrigued by tumblr, especially in terms of it being an incremental modification (you can say 'evolution' if you must! :p) of the older blogging format. Not sure I want to go there, but I'm keeping an eye on it all the same...

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