Re: Forums as Comment engine?
Ah right, well in that case what you want is this:
1) A “forum/category” that users can add to threads, but not make their own threads. (requires a bbPress plugin)
2) A plugin in WordPress that “posts” a thread in that same “forum/category” for users to comment on.
3) When someone clicks on a link on your blog to read comments, that link should go to the right forum (that’ll require a plugin too)
4) When someone enters a comment on your blog post, it posts it to the forum (another plugin – possibly an extention of the same one but new functionality). It should then link them to their comment (which is actually a forum post).
You’re basically looking at a WordPress plugin that has 3 main functions which go against how WordPress works. Its possible, totally possible really, but it’s neither simple or straightforward. Given that the work would have to be done at the WordPress end, you’d have more luck posting there than here sadly.
I’d also strongly suggest against this sort of thing. While in theory you’re moving the “conversation” to one place rather than two, you’re also duplicating the blog post into two places. That always confuses users. Its also worth thinking about whether you have the size of userbase where this will be benefitial. Lastly, people use blog comments and forums for different things. At a technical level they are very similar, and many experienced forum users look on both in a truly similar light; but your “average joe” sees a comment on a blog post as a comment on the blog post, while a forum is an open place to talk – or realistically have others argue against what was said.
A comment is a “1 to 1” communication (seen by others ofcourse), while a forum is an “many to many” communication; and users do treat them differently at a base level.
If you thought this was imperative for your site, i’d suggest ignoring the bbpress aspect of it, and pay someone very knowledgable to theme your comment sections to look/work like a forum. bbPress is going that wasy as a wordpress plugin, so pay for or putitng the large amount of time and effort into coding your solution might have very little RoI.
Good luck whatever you do, and keep us posted if you do anythign v cool!!