Make it harder to join your online community

by Martin Reed on 3 June 2011 in Snippets

If you want to make friends, Just Epals is a great website to join – but it’s tough to get in. There is no automatic membership. Everyone who joins is asked to fill out a full profile. Every new member is manually screened by a human. This all takes time and effort.

The result? The approval rate is just under 50%. You can end up waiting over 48 hours to hear whether your application is accepted or rejected. However, members that do get in enjoy a community free of spammers and scammers and a community full of genuine members.

Insomnia Land offers insomnia help forums for insomnia sufferers. Visitors can view the general discussion forum, but if they want to view the content related to insomnia, they need to apply for membership. Even if they’re accepted, they still don’t have access to the insomnia section until they’ve contributed something to the community first.

This screening procedure helps members trust the community and its members. They feel more confident in sharing their true feelings, and as a result the community is stronger.

When you make it harder to join your online community you lose the ego stroke of watching your member count shoot through the roof. However, you’re more likely to see happier members and a more genuine and positive community.

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David Josh July 14, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Pros and Cons, long membership forms and waiting period always drives the traffic away, but No Pain No Gain !

Tommy T May 27, 2012 at 12:17 am

Making your site harder to join doesn’t necessarily mean long membership forms!

All you need really is

Username:
Email:
Password:

All the other tidbits etc can be filled in afterwards and optionally via their profile.

The waiting period however I must agree! I’d be very careful myself using that strategy, but I can see how it could work. A prestigious ‘waiting list’.

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