ya, keep in mind that I don't want this to be "just another lecture idea" - that fails
Here's some things I'd like to make special note of that may make the lecture thing work
1) Screw IRC, we can't all be in some place at one time - and we don't want to limit the people who benefit to those who go. And IRC logs SUCK...
2) We need lectures that people (plural) are truly interested in reading. That's why I don't want 'assigned topics' and rather 'voted in' topics. If it wasn't for the forum poll feature - this wouldn't work so well. But it is a very simple thing to setup a poll with many topics up for votes.
3) I don't want the lecture system
depandant on a person's ability to meet an appointment. So it's kept to a minimum. If somebody can't meet the deadline for his lecture (cause he's a procrastinator or cause he can't get his material together or he doesn't have time... etc...) - so what? You can wait a long as you want before creating a new topic in the lecture forum to present your lecture and prepare for questions. Reguardless, a new lecture topic will be chosen in the polls the very next week. And if you take an extremely long time - then somebody else can take it where you left off.
4) There should be a whole forum dedicated to lectures. This consoladates all the good info into one forum - just like the news forum. Also, since it will be in posts - not article or chat logs - you may answer people's questions. The question answering really is a free-for-all. As long as people browsing the forum can access the good stuff in the first post for every topic (lecture) it's all good.
And really, I can't see any reason why people can't just volunteer to make a lecture in the forum. The poll thing is just a means of giving people ideas and making sure that two people aren't trying to write lectures with either the same or extremely similar topics.
And I stress again - it is BETTER to have a forum for the lectures rather than submitted articles. This encourages conversation - encourages questions and answers - and encourages the lectures to be written in the first place. If you don't get feedback - you don't really feel like writing a lecture. So if you create a topic in the lecture forum - you get the prestige and the attention and all that good stuff. Any topic created that ISN'T a lecture getS deleted immediately. It is up to the moderators discretion as to whether a lecture is really a lecture - or just some pitiful attempt to get attention.