Nearly every online community would benefit from making one simple change.
Change the registration form into an application form.
First, the words themselves make a difference. Not everybody gets in. If you get in, you value membership more. You’re more likely to participate and make friends. Hazing works for a reason.
Second, existing members feel part of an exclusive group. Not everybody can get in. You can even ask existing members to rate applications to see who they believe should get in.
Finally, it gives you control over who gets in. You can pick and choose the best people. This also ensures you’re not looking for more members, just getting the right balance for your community.
Try it, you will be amazed.