A hot topic in our project right now is what is the best method kick off member recruitment?

Just opening up for anybody to sign up or to do the “invite a limited number of friends”-thing?

Of course, opening up for anybody makes it easy for Tom, Dick and Harry to join the community. But does it create the buzz? I’d say no.

A limited invitations to friends, on the other hand, might reduce the number of spontaneous sign-ups, but would help spreading the word. Since all other communities seem to do it this way, it probably works the best. (And, of course, it could always be coupled with an option to ask the team for an invitation.)

But then comes the next question, how many invitations per member and how do you earn new invitations or do you just get new invitations by a fixed number each day or week?

I’m inclined to vote for ten invitations initially and then one added for each log-on. That would keep the technical complexity reasonable. Alternatives to that would be two new for each you send. Or some function of your level of activity in the community. But would really the added value be worth the technical complexity. I doubt it and I guess that Toby would agree.