For those of you who aren't familiar with Forrst: it is an online community aimed specifically at designers & developers. In fact, the whole community is invite only in a bid to regulate the members and ensure the community is only used by actual designers/developers and not filled to the brim with recruiters for example. The 'closed' aspect to Forrst actually strengthens the content within the site and allows for more relevant discussions, comments and critiques from people who are more familiar with the designing & development processes.
Although there have been issues with it, the process of giving out invites to Forrst members allowing them to invite people into the community is an interesting one: members are judged based on how active they are, how much feedback they give or how many useful comments they post. I actually found myself being drawn back to actively contribute to the community in order to earn a higher 'reputation' to be given some invites. All in all quite a good way to encourage users to be active within the site.
I am currently experimenting with the 'acorns' feature: essentially a credit system whereby you pay for acorns & then use the acorns to promote your posts within the community with each acorn counting for around 1,200 impressions. Moments after my apostrophaces design was approved for promotion it began to generate more interest/comments/likes from members outside my network of followers on the site. That kind of immediate response will encourage me to invest in more acorns to further promote my work to others within the community.
The visual design & overall user experience of Forrst is also top-notch as you would expect from a community aimed at designers! But the team behind Forrst also listen to their members too: they recently rolled out some changes to the site which were met with a number of unhappy members and as a result the changes were altered within a matter of days based on the feedback received.
Overall I am finding Forrst to be one of my regular spots to visit on the web and I can only hope they continue to provide such a cool community in the future!
Are you on Forrst? Leave your experience of the site in the comments below