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Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: rogerd

Community Building and User Generated Content Forum

Forum registration
Necessary or not

 7:02 pm on Feb 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have a forum at my site. It is not a forum per se but a place where people can simply ask questions relating to a specific topic, receive a reply then move on.

To keep things simple, I've not required registration. However, almost ever forum I visit requires it.

Are there compelling reasons to require registration?

Thank you.



 12:26 am on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I would say that spam is the number one reason for requiring registration.

If you don't require registration, then very soon, it is likely that you'll find your forum filled with TEXAS HOLDEM VIAGRA CIALIS WEIGHT LOSS links to spammy sites and posts with no relevance other than to advertise their affiliate links, etc.

If you require registration, it just makes another hoop that a spammer has to jump through and cuts down on some of the crap. You'll still get spam, but not as much as if anyone can post anything completely anonymously.

There are other reasons, but that's probably the main one.



 12:37 am on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

There are other reasons, but that's probably the main one.

The SPAM is good enough reason, but I'd appreciate hearing about the other reasons. I have started getting spam but not a lot to date; maybe four the past year. If I'm going to begin requiring registration, I'd like to be able to fully explain the reason why to my users and would appreciate any additional information regarding this.

Thanks again.


 12:59 am on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Another reason I went to requiring registration is people with spiders sucking down every message of every thread in the forum and sometimes bringing the server to a crawl. Anything from whatever Internet Explorer "offline viewing" feature it is to programs like WebWhacker specifically intended to copy an entire site and all its pages -- I had started getting hit by that stuff way too much and registration made it more or less impossible for most software to do that.

Site suckers, mass copiers, and spammers.

Again, other people may have other reasons, but those are mine.



 1:23 am on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Another good reason that sometimes comes up is qualifying your posters, so that you only get messages from those who could be bothered to register, and who have the smarts to fill in the form correctly.

Some forum owners here were discussing taking this to the point of having a quiz on the registration page, in order to create a forum of experts, or to make sure people read the FAQ. So you can use registration to weed out certain groups of people in this way.


 1:32 am on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

The whole point you seem to be missing here is, that apart from the security and spam issues ... the whole point of having people sign up is to collect email address, direct access to users...

You want to build a community but don't want to know who that community is or how to get in touch with them? that's just mad .... lol


 1:55 am on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

You want to build a community but don't want to know who that community is or how to get in touch with them?

lobo, in all sincerity, the last thing I want to do is build up a "community." My forum, and I don't even call it that, is simply a vehicle for repsonding to email inquiries so others than only the original inquirer can benefit from repies.

I think a compelling reason to require registration may be that potential advertisers want to know how may people visit a site/forum. Right now, the numbers who participate in my Q&A Board are about four times the numbers represented by the current stats the forum software generates.

I could care less, but I'm not sure what an advertiser would expect.


 2:30 am on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

well what have you got to sell to a potential advertiser?

Your stats and your members... of course ..

To build that you have to make your forum / advice compelling..

You can only benefit from the experiences of others ..

If you are not interested in building it then I suggest don't even do it!

If it ranks that low in your purpose then scrap it and get on with something else IMO


 8:27 am on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Email's still the most common tool people have. Unless you have a free-for-all global feed from your forum, email registration usually allows users access to subscription and notification services concerning new posts or content. This is a valuable function: can help make sure that your responses to emails do actually benefit others in a timely fashion.


 12:53 pm on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks very much for all the insights about registration. It's been very helpful.


 3:10 pm on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

I know the discussion is a week old, but I wanted to add something.

For the longest time I didn't require registration on my forum. It worked well, but then we started getting a few flame posts from guests. It never got REAL bad, but I finally had enough and required registration. Non registered members can still read topics, but can not post.

I think the openess of not requiring registration can be a good thing, you just have to keep an eye on it.


 5:56 pm on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

Once your forum gets popular, you'll find more troublemakers - people who make obnoxious, obscene, or rude posts, for example. All kinds of trolls, too.

Without registration, it's easy to switch or disguise identities, too, or even pretend to be someone else. Registration eliminates the false identity problem, and slows down those who would keep posting under different names.

Run without registration as long as you can - when the problem levels get frustrating, it's time to implement it.


 12:23 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

I found it handy to keep it open at first to encourage posting, that way people can contribute without having to register which helps get the forum going.

As soon as the first lot of spam starts to appear I lock the forum down and make everyone register if they want to post. anyone can view the posts though, i don't restrict things that much.


 2:54 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

> Are there compelling reasons to require registration?

Three reasons.

Libel, slander, spam.

Although spam isn't even remotely in the same league as the first two.

[edited by: rogerd at 7:25 pm (utc) on Feb. 15, 2006]
[edit reason] fix typo [/edit]

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