Yes, that would be correct. The forum section ‘magazine’ is ‘locked’ for new topics. This is because it is essentially simply an overview of comments on the longer ‘articles’ that appear on the frontpage or in the magazine menu section. I thought it would be nice to have all comments together so it would be easier to get an overview and follow the discussions. It’s possible to reply to each topic/article of course. All other forum sections are open and anybody can open a new topic there.
If you’d like to post a longer ‘article’, that is also possible. If you go to ‘my account’ in the menu (the place where you are directed to after logging in), you can select ‘articles’ where you’ll see an overview of your articles. You can also select ‘new article’ there after which you’ll be able to write your article, choose the category that describes it best, add a featured image and so on. You can save it to complete it later or submit it for ‘review’ after which I can approve it and it will then appear on the front page as the latest article. A new topic will automatically be created in the magazine forum section.
The article you have written was originally posted in the ‘activity stream’, which is a bit like facebook, it simply shows the latest activities on the site. You can comment on anything there and post things but, as with facebook, after some time those comments will be further down the stream and probably nobody will notice it anymore. Therefore I had copied your post from there and made it an article as it was quite informative.
I’m not sure whether I’ve made the right decisions on the many options possible, but the idea was more or less this:
-temporary comments, daily pictures of peony plants growing for example: put it in the activity stream, good for immediate comments, but after some time nearly unnoticeable. This is my least favorite part of the site, but as Facebook is quite popular, it cannot be that awful to work in the same way. Any member can post either images or messages there, visible for everyone.
-questions, short descriptions and the like: the forum, where the topics will be visible much longer and can always be replied to. Any member can start topics or reply to them, except for that one magazine forum section where members can only reply. If you’d need to contact another member privately, then you can go to his profile and click ‘private message’ to send him/her just that.
-longer articles: the magazine, which means frontpage for the latest ones (or featured ones), inclusion in the ‘magazine’ menu and all comments about it in the magazine forum section. Any member can also write such an article, but they will first be reviewed before being published. The ‘review’ is to have at least relevant articles appearing (not spam) and to check for typos or other errors (not everybody speaks or writes english fluently, not that I can, but there’s nobody elso to do this review currently). Alternatively members can also simply write an article in some text editor at their own computer and then mail it to me, after which I’ll gladly publish it (send me a private message to get my email address).
So, to sum it up: a ‘tweet’ with(out) image can go into the site activity stream, a discussion goes into the forum and a longer article that may take some time to write will go frontpage. Thus I’ve tried to combine the possibilities of Facebook, the Yahoo discussion groups and, well, the Bulletin from the APS with their longer articles.
If there would be more members then the ‘groups’ would also be valuable, but that will be something for the future I guess (other peony societies could have their own group if they so wished). Of course most visitors never register as most of the site is viewable without logging in, thus membership numbers are an underestimation of the site’s use (according to google analytics, there are some 20-30 unique visitors each day currently, some 40-50 when peony season was in full peak (may/june and added to that also the same number of visitors again from Google adwords where I had a ‘campaign’ running during that time to make the site better known as at that time it only showed up very low on google searches, it’s ranking higher now as it’s not so new anymore).
Well, hope that answers your question more or less. I’m open to suggestions to (try to) improve the site further.
All the best,
Growing peonies for cutflowers in Belgium. Also hybridizing them.