Don’t get confused here. It’s perfectly ok
to have an exclusive community.
It’s perfectly ok to make people jump through
hoops to join the community.
In fact, these steps can help increase the sense
of community that members feel with one another.
It’s NOT ok to treat new people in the
Newcomers will ask
dumb questions. They will ask questions that have been asked dozens of times
before. They will make various faux pas. You need to
But that’s the easy part.
The hard part is you need your members to
accept this too. Your members need to know how to tolerate newcomers. You need to be
careful not to deter them from participating again.
When a long-time regular says "FFS, search the forum for the answer before your post" that's not only unhelpful, it drives away that newcomer and over newcomers from participating.
This doesn’t necessarily mean banning or
punishing those that do respond with a sarcastic comment. It does mean
overwhelming such posts with so many more good remarks. Be careful to look for the comments of members with a '1' post count. Respond nicely, usefully, and hospitably. Ask a question in the response to solicit further contributions.
If the number of members with 1 post is far higher than members with 2 posts, you have a problem.
Communities need new blood to
survive. If your members drive away the new blood, your community won't last long.
Hard to get into = good.
Hard to get nice responses = bad.