Like most geeks, I love “what if?” questions: “What if this site never had comments?” Even better than what-ifs are “let’s see” exercises. This is one of those.
Will it change how the site feels to readers? Will it change how the site feels to me?
The only way to know is to try it.
Note that we’re not just turning off new comments; we’re getting rid of all 32,704 previous comments as well. They’re still there, of course, but we won’t be showing them through the end of the year. (For the web folks: We’re disabling the comment calls in the WP loop. The comments don’t show up because we’ve stopped asking for them.)