Is there a way to create a new blog/forum kind of platform in which only people I approve as community members can comment and read other comments? I basically want to simplify the experience of an online forum for an older demographic (50-70 year olds).
I’ve thought about using a facebook page but people won’t take it seriously and will doubt its legitimacy.
A standard forum is way too complicated and not user friendly.
A private blog would be the best option, particularly if people can subscribe using facebook connect.
Simply use a private forum. I teach all ages of students, and believe me, they can learn a forum quickly. A blog and comments based system is almost certainly going to mess up formatting and lead to confusion.
You could play with the P2 theme, which is a blog theme designed to mimic the forum experience. I personally hate it, but some people seem to like it. The blog would have to be Private, and you would Invite the members to see it.