This should make some nerds rejoice: Forrst, the Tumblr for coders, just announced an overhaul of its highly-exclusive invite system. “Folks who should be in the community have been subjected to increasingly unreasonable waits—sometimes up to a few months,” the New York-based start-up blogged this afternoon. The wait list had stretched to 13,000 strong–almost half Forrst’s 27k userbase, founder Kyle Bragger told Betabeat.
The backlog built up because of Forrst’s heavy-handed reputation system. Users were held responsible for the people they invited in Forrst’s strict merit-based system, which was supposed to encourage users to invite people who would be high-quality contributors who would enhance the community. But the caveat went too far. “We felt that the accountability we were enforcing tended to be a bit overreaching, causing most users to feel uneasy about using their invites on strangers. With the new system, we’re spreading out the responsibility to multiple members,” Forrst said.
Forrst’s invite system has gone through several complex iterations as the start-up tries to keep the community pure, developer-centric, engaged and on-topic. The new invite system lets people who want to join in once they get two votes from existing members and contribute some “feedback” on a member’s post. Existing users can still instantly invite people they know via email.
“To us, inviting new users should be entirely based on their passion for development and design, and not how talented or known they are in their respective industries. Forrst is a great place for getting honest critique and feedback, and any legitimate developer or designer is welcome to join; keeping this in mind when voting for new users is important to the process,” the company said.
Forrst also rolled out a leaderboard and notifications page today, and is working on revised community guidelines from its perch in Dogpatch Labs outside Union Square.