When I started the Fashion Industry Network one of my primary concerns was the size of the site. No, I was not concerned that the site had only a few members. Actually, my concern was the contrary. I was worried about what would happen in the future if the site had "too many" members.
My theory was always that the network is only as good as the members that utilize the site. The thought process was that if we have a good group of people, the fashion industry network would be a beneficial site for all that wish to partake in what the site has to offer. By the way, when I say a "good group of people", I mean people that truly have an interest in fashion and have an interest in helping others learn more about fashion and the fashion industry.
In the back of my mind I have always been thinking, "If for some reason the site becomes too large, how could we control the quality of the members?" In the beginning, I would read every single post. This would make it rather easy to figure out who was here to "contribute" and who was here offering little to no value to other members. However, as time went by and our little fashion network grew, I was reminded of my concern that it is extremely challenging to read everything posted on the network. Due to the fact that I can not read each post in a timely manner, on occasion the "bad people" sneak in and post messages that should not be posted.
This month the network will for sure break the 10,000 member mark. In my opinion, this may be too many members. As I have done in the past, I am once again considering the possibility of limiting the number of members. I can do this in a few different ways.
1) Delete inactive members : One way too reduce the number of members is to check profiles and delete members that have not contributed during the past few months. In theory, this sounds like a good idea. HOWEVER, I made several good connections on the network in the early stages of the development. I know that these people are active members of the fashion industry. I would hate to delete their profiles simply for the fact that they have disappeared for a few months.
2) Change Method of Membership : I can close the network to new members and only allow for members to join if they are first invited by an existing member of the network. HOWEVER, what happens to the person that wants to join (and is very qualified to join), but simply does not know any other members to obtain an invite.
In all honesty, I am not sure the best way to proceed. Also, I am not sure if ten thousand, fifty thousand, or a million members would be too many members. Actually, the more that I think about it, would a million members be too many IF they were all people that actually did plan to properly utilize the network? I guess as long as we have good quality members, the number of members should not be the concern. It appears my focus should be more in regard to watching the quality and not the quantity. But do these two issues go hand in hand??? Unfortunately, I think that they do...
By the way, recently we have been having new members join that do not appear to be joining for the benefit of existing members. They may be from other industries or simply out to be annoying. If you see any inappropriate profiles or posts from any of the sites members, please do not hesitate to contact me.
HELP KEEP THE FASHION INDUSTRY NETWORK FREE OF PEOPLE THAT DO NOT BELONG HERE.
If you find members that do not belong, please let me know so that I can investigate the situation.