Start New Discussion - what are appropriate topics?
Discussion topics are similar to the previous Forum section. The main difference being that one of the admins needs to mark it published. After the initial topic is approved and published the comments are unmoderated as usual. Appropriate topics are those that are relative to the Mission Statement and fit in with the general theme of the site. They can be just a short sentence or paragraph and might include a link to a post you have made on your blog or a link to an article on the net with a question.
Note that not all topics submitted for Discussion may be approved and published if they are felt to be too off-topic or otherwise unsuitable. Also if you have a question please search the site and see if it has been addressed in a previous discussion. Or if you want to continue that discussion with another thread, add the link to it in the body of your discussion so that people can refer to the previous comments.
If you are asking a question such as "What about this?" you need to also say, "I think .... and here's why...". If you post a link you need to have some comments about what the discussion on this might be and what your opinion is and why.
Other topics which would be considered inappropriate are links to your own blog which seem to be primarily to promote your own blog. You can post a topic here and say something like "I've discussed this more on my own blog @..." though. Similarly posting links promoting materials you have written in not appropriate. This is not a marketing forum no matter how relevant your materials are to topics here. Often there will be a discussion topic where people will ask for reading suggestions. That is not the same as self-promotion.
Please make the topic of your question something which can be reasonably addressed here and not something which has been the topic of many a thesis. e.g. Don't ask "what is the meaning of life?" or "what is the purpose of the universe?".
When submitting discussions topics please limit the tags that you select to 4 and please add a sort of summary line somewhere in the form of a question and what you would like responses on. The tags assigned when the discussion is published may be adjusted so that topics can be filtered and searched in a consistent manner.
Finally, there is no black and white list of what is and is not appropriate and approval or rejection of topics submitted is decided by the editorial staff just as not all "letters to the editor" of a newspaper are published. Your post on the discussion forum should not be your first post on this site. Please read and comment on other articles before posting a discussion topic.