Steve: I know you said you started the forum for personal reasons, but I'd say it provided a business function that might change your hits on the blog. Of coarse that's nothing you haven't already thought, I'm sure. Just saying.
And in that light I wonder if you might open comments on your blog posts. Although I remember you did that before the forums and eventually had to shut that off too. But I think people like the chance to discuss the blog topics.