Paul glen is correct. As I too like what you have tried to do , why would you not model it after other large scale successful forums . And ask people here for input before the launch . I do feel sorry for you and I mean that but truly there had to be someone with you in this that said hey what the hell are we doing . To say it's confusing is an understement , and why you would implement this as the direct stream comes out and you travel the globe promoting product makes this a Asian fire drill of sorts. The old forums had its oddtyies And I know change is better overall . But this is not an advancement it's an exercise that most here do not or should not have to go through .
The larger scale forums are not typically attached and integrated with a website. Take most of the forums based websites where the website IS the forum. Here they can use any number of great forum software. Our goal is to provide a seamless integrated experience both on the forums as well as the website. A place where we can chat, read about new products, register, control and do all the things one might wish to do with a company like us.
To do this we have really not many choices. The best choice for us, without spending a fortune on a 100% custom website, is Wordpress. That’s what the site is based on and everything is now integrated - however it isn’t yet seamless.
There’s a learning curve. We’re in the middle of it. Hang tight. We can do customizing of the forums once we get all the bugs, registration integration issues ironed out.