Lobsters is an interesting community, whose growth is regulated by a publicly visible invite list. I think this is a wonderful & wise feature, but it brings up the question of, “How to keep the community thriving with high quality new members?”
There are two ways to invite people:
It’s the latter that I find interesting and I’d like to share an experiment I’ve done.
If you visit my profile on HN, you’ll see the following text:
I’ve got https://lobste.rs invites (HackerNews alternative, “like the good ol' days”)! Happy to invite folks I feel will contribute positively to the community.
On Lobsters: moderation is public info, and so is who invited who. Shoot me an email (itistoday at gmail) with your HN profile and temporarily place your email info in your HN profile so that I can verify you.
I’m an infrequent commenter on HN, so it’s rare for someone to click on my profile and see that text, but I’m pleased to say that so far this method has yielded one catch, @mjn, who has in short order already contributed comments that the community decided to upvote.
The advantage of this method is that because your HN handle can be (pseudo)anonymous, you are free to review the posts of HN members and decide for yourself whether you think they’ll contribute positively here, and the pseudo-anonymity of it all means nobody’s feelings are hurt if you decide to not invite them.