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Growing in an invite only community?


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My forum is invitation only which of course has its pros and cons. It means spam is low but of course getting new members in is also quite hard.

 

Anyone can invite someone into the community, but I think the issue is networking. How do you think an invitation only forum can grow it’s member base effectively?

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Its difficult to maintain an invite only community because without fresh infusion and having people from all the strata of life, things will be difficult to sustain.

 

There are certain niches like blackhat hackers, cults, conspiracy, commercial gatherings and stuff like that which justifies a invite only community. But otherwise, I find it very difficult to see the rationale.

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I've definitely found it hard to grow the community, although I do think if I made registrations open it would remove a large USP from the site.

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Growing an invite only community is hard when you don't have anyone to actually invite. I would recommend making it invite only once you gain enough members to maintain a constant thread/post increase. Once people want to join, that is when you make it invite only. Not when you're just starting up.

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I can personally say I have never modified any of my forums to invite only. Starting an invitation only discussion board is tough once you do not have anyone to truly invite. On the occasion you obtain enough members for continuing thread/post growth, then I might suggest to you making it invite only. When your starting out as a webmaster, the last thing you want to do is make your board invite-only - you will be just asking for activity levels to be low! If you need any further help or advice, feel free to reply!

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  • 4 weeks later...

I think invitation only is a good approach but the thing is you are limited in terms of the content creation and reaching more people. The reason being invite only mode reduces your spam but also keeps real people away. So I think growing such community is lot harder. But yeah word of mouth and also making use of the limited user group for content can work things out.

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It really depends on what the community is for, it is hard to give you advice on it otherwise. If the community is sufficiently compelling for someone to join, you may be able to reach people on similar sites, although it will be very difficult to kick-start it. You would almost certainly need a preexisting group to bootstrap it.

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  • 1 month later...

I have always been fascinated by this approach as well as the reasons why an administrator would want to follow through with it. The only reason I can personally think of is it cut down on spam, which is a persistent issue for many websites and forums.

 

What ways have you tried so far? Maybe you could try appealing to your community specifically, or begin as a more open forum. I think it is incredibly difficult to go this way and that is why none of my websites have been invite-only.

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It introduces an element of exclusivity which can often be a really good way of driving interest, but the core product itself needs to be interesting as well. Yeah it's a good way to reduce spam but spam isn't a huge deal anyway. There's fairly robust counter measures to that now.

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Why not you are using approve user by moderators or admin and invitation also ...... I think new user by invitation only is really very hard to get new user. I think you are loosing user also because if some one come by search then he have not any option to register ..... So i think to stop spam you should active moderate of each registration after email verification.

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