Update as of January 1, 2011, the invite system is based on your Forrst reputation; the users in the 93rd percentile or higher will receive between 1 and 3 invites, commensurate with their standing on Forrst. Reputation is listed on your profile, and may be earned through positive contributions to the community. We feel that this is by far a better way to hand out invites compared to just looking at more simple metrics (likes and comments, for instance).
We also realize that it’s still not a perfect system, and are constantly working to improve it.
Also, if you work on a team, please get in touch here. We’d be happy to chat about getting your colleagues on Forrst.
Finally, one of the most frequently asked questions we receive relates to applying for membership on the homepage, and how one can be invited. Here are a few things to remember:
Thanks, as always.
The original post follows.
Today marks the launch of a big change in the way Forrst invites work, and I’d like to start off by saying that Forrst welcomes any developer or designer who’s passionate about getting better at their craft and helping others to do so as well, whether they’re the cream of the crop or just getting started (everyone has to start somewhere). It is in that spirit that I’m pumped to announce the Forrst Invite system.
In the past, one could join Forrst one of two ways: getting invited by a friend or colleague, or applying on forrst.com and being invited by us directly. The former worked in theory, but the algorithm that awarded users with invites (based on their engagement with the community) never quite worked, leading to frustration and the frequently asked question: “How the heck can I invite my friends?” Thinking that we could manage the latter method also proved to be inherently flawed. While it was my hope that we could vet all applicants to ensure they were truly a developer or designer (and not, say, a recruiter or “web two oh marketing guru”), that, too, proved too great a challenge for our small team, and consequently many non-developers and non-designers managed to slip through the cracks, leading to some frustration within the community.
So, I’m happy to announce that today we’ve launched a new, two-part invite system. The first part should be familiar — inviting friends and colleagues via email. As a Forrst member, you’ll now be eligible for up to 5 invites per month (given out on the 1st of each month), and can have a maximum of 10 invites at any given time. In order to earn invites for a given month, you must have interacted on Forrst during that month (e.g. by posting, leaving thoughtful comments and liking others’ posts), and your account must be at least 15 days old and in good standing. You can send invites via email here: http://forrst.com/invites
The other half is totally new: members may now view a list of people who’ve applied for an invite from the forrst.com homepage. From here, any existing Forrst member is able to use one of their invites to invite a new developer or designer into the community. The list shows the person’s name, Gravatar (if they have one [hint, hint prospective members: you should get a Gravatar!]), Twitter username, and URL they submitted, along with an Invite button. The power to bring new users into Forrst is now largely in the hands of the community, as it should be. Mike, Adam and I will still be inviting users on a regular basis, but it’s my hope that by opening up the process to the community at large, we’ll all have a much better experience and will be able to ensure that only developers and designers are able to sign up. This new area is available at http://forrst.com/people/invite or from the People nav bar.
As they say, with great power comes great responsibility, and so it goes with Forrst invites: Forrst users will now be accountable for whomever they invite to the site. If you invite Joe Smith, and Joe proves to be a great part of the Forrst community, that’s awesome. However, if you invite Joe and Joe’s posts or comments repeatedly get flagged, or Joe is banned, you will also receive flags on your account (in proportion to Joe’s). Users who have been flagged a certain amount of times won’t be eligible to invite new members.
I hope that with the launch of this new invite system, the quality of the community stands to improve even more. I’m also excited that current users will finally be able to easily invite friends and colleagues. I know it’s been a long time coming, and thanks for being so patient.
Any questions, comments, or other feedback, please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email: kyle at forrst.com
I also want to thank the Forrst community for being generally stellar. Without you, Forrst would be nothing but a pile of PHP.
And, just a note to anyone who’s applied but not yet been invited in: now that the community will be actively involved in the invite process, hopefully we can get the invite delays down to a much more reasonable length of time.
 just to clarify: on the 1st, if you have 5 or fewer invites, you’ll receive 5; if you have between 6 and 9, you’ll get topped up to 10 total; if you have 10, you won’t receive any
 users who have had posts or comments flagged are not eligible to invite new users until those flagged posts or comments have been appropriately handled (that’s up to our discretion). repeated or especially egregious offenses may result in a permanent loss of invite privileges. sorry!