It's a subject that comes up quite regularly in conversation with others, so I thought it was worth reposting my comment here:
Great episode, and I agreed with your sentiments about Apple. They seem to be the great exception when it comes to what makes a company cool.
It’s easy to mistake Apple’s coolness for the openness and conversation that’s happening elsewhere, but it’s really because of good design, and almost dictatorial control - kind of the opposite of openness.
As a recent article in Fortune pointed out, Apple would be in big trouble if Steve Jobs wasn’t there. (Can’t find it online, but it was the cover story towards the end of March. Perhaps it was print-only?)
I disagree with you about Seth Godin, because I heard Mitch Joel interview him recently on Six Pixels of Separation, where he explained why he doesn’t do comments …
It’s because having comments on his site would cause him to self-censor, and eventually shut up altogether. He was pretty open and honest about it. I can cut him that slack because he’s an individual, without a large staff doing his marketing for him. Yes, he’s also a formidable brand and influencer, but hey, he’s still human.
(More thoughts on Apple - and a great comment thread - over at Dave Fleet's PR and Marketing blog.)