Both MMM and I are new to this whole forum thing (I've participated in a PHPBB forum for years, but never administered one before), so please send us any advice you might have.
I've run and moderated several vbulletin forums over the years. The hardest part is just watching out for spammers/scammers who create a user and then post garbage. That's why a team is the most important aspect. You've already got a thread for moderators, so identifying and having a good core team of community users will help the community grow.
I have a suggestion for a blog/forum tie in. Allow folks to keep posting comments on blog posts, but maybe allow/direct more discussion on articles into the forum. A few of the other sites I follow like Simple Dollar and Nerd Fitness do this.
Basically having one forum section dedicated to followup's or ongoing discussion of an article and it's topic.
Thanks Mr. Key! Any input you have would be appreciated it. It looks like we've thwarted the spammers for now. We'll see...
For the blog/forum tie in, I did add something fun to the blog. There's not a sidebar section that shows the 5 latest posts on the forum. MMM himself also figured out how to link the top image on the forum back to the blog. So, we've got some connections made there.
For the blog post discussion, we might start a section called "Blog Post Discussion" (I'm still in talks with MMM about the new sections we'll be adding). This way, if anyone would like to continue the discussion here, they can easily add a new title to discuss any particular article. But, the comments would still be the place to continue the main discussion (since only a very small percentage of readers are actually registered users of the forum).
I think in situations where the comments become a more back and forth conversation, it makes sense to start a discussion here. Also, if people would like to comment on old articles, the forum might be a good place to start a conversation.
I did see a plugin that allows you to automatically post new topics to the forum for every new blog post, but it seems like it would make more sense for one of you to start a new topic if you actually have something to say.
Let me know what you think...