I normally read 37Signal’s blog through an RSS reader, so I often don’t see the comments, but what I have seen does have a largely negative tone. I can understand 37Signal’s reasons but it does seem that by withdrawing from the conversation they’re harming their relationship with their community. Now JoelOnSoftware seems to be just as popular as 37Signals but doesn’t seem to have the same problem, so perhaps they offer a better model. Rather than having comments on each post, Joel has a number of discussion boards. Blogs (or at least blog comments) aren’t the greatest thing for building community as there is clearly a difference in power between the blog authors and the comment writers. Discussion boards are much more egaliterian and hence offer less opportunity to brew discontent.