Since I wasn't able to attend in Seattle in person, I spent a lot of time listening to the the live steaming feeds and reading the blogs. And, not just the official blogs. I gained a lot of perspective from Rafat Ali's posts on paidcontent.org - especially the blog he wrote about social networking. His main comment was that community areas have to be built for the community and not what we hope to mine from them. This concept is important to hold in our minds as many of us search for a magic bullet to build stronger connects between listeners and stations.
Here is an example. Back when the Table Talk area of Salon.com was free, there was a very popular This American Life posting board. People across the country were drawn together through their fondness for the program and eventually became a social group with similar interests. The board had lots of posts every day, keeping it very high (and thus above the fold in prime territory) on the topic list. One day, the original list was taken down and two new lists were put up in its place - one for talking about the show and one for chit chat. Regular posters were not happy (several disappeared altogether) and the new lists never really took off the same way.
The conflict came in the personal discussion that could sometimes derail talk of the show. But, the side talk generated posts that kept the list visible and drew more posters. And, the posters listened to the show each week so they could add comments to the conversation. Separating the lists did not build the number of posters on either list and post volume slipped (essentially killed after Ira chastised the board for making comments about a show that a story subject found hurtful).
Anyway - organic growth in an online community is a beautiful thing, but it is difficult to be truly all inclusive and volume and quality (as with all things) rarely go hand in hand. So, we can build it for them to come, but we have to be prepared for the process to produce unexpected results and for our listeners to use our carefully set up roads to take journeys we didn't have in mind at all.