So I’ve been tinkering a bit more with that. My main impression is that it makes sense to have a members-only forum. The forum is not conceived as a stand-alone platform, but rather as a supplement to the app. To access the app, any user will have to register. So perspectively we’d be heading towards a single-sign-on based on the app log-in anyways.
I think it would still make sense to have a public facing part on the forum, like a public channel or show window. Here’s how I sketched a public landing page so far:
So there’s a banner only shown to anonymous visitors. Below are posts from the public category, the only one visible if you are not logged in.
We can extend on the plain forum style and give a bit more color to the public presentation of posts. We can also structure the public category with tags. I introduced a bulletin tag here, that could serve as a selection of public content. Anonymous visitors would be redirect to this selection as the default view:
So who’d decide about which public content gets selected for the bulletin? There’s an option on the forum that I like a lot: category moderation. We can give groups special powers limited to specific categories. For the bulletin I created a group editors and gave them exclusive access to the bulletin tag within the public category:
Over time we could expand this approach and have a wider range of selections by tags, or even have several groups responsible for different selections.
Please share your thoughts about this! And if you like it, consider posting in #public, so we get some content going to work with