View Full Version : ZHPMafia.com to Close Registration -- October 15 , 2011

09-30-2011, 03:00 PM
ZHPMafia.com turns one year old in a few weeks. It's good timing, then, that ZHPMafia.com will officially close to new member registrations beginning on October 15, 2011.

The site will remain public to lurkers. People will still be able to read content. People simply will not be able to register for membership. They'll be greeted with a message telling them that new members are not being accepted at this time.

That said, this is being done with a twist or two.

For example, new members will be able to come onboard if they are friends of the family. What does that mean? It means that current members will have to invite and vouch for new members. If you don't think they'll fit in at ZHPMafia.com, or you believe that they'll be disruptive, don't bother inviting them. You know what we're looking for here at ZHPMafia.com: friendly, professional, and courteous members. We're also looking for contributors. If they don't plan on being active members of the forum (meaning they don't plan on posting here), then don't bother inviting them. We're looking for an active community. You can nominate a prospective member by hitting moderators up via private message.

Non members will still be able to contact administrators at ZHPMafia.com (there is a link at the bottom of the site now; it says "contact us." I will also include a message at the top of the site as well, letting guests know what we can be contacted). These people may, from time to time, ask to be members of the site. Depending on what they say, they may or may not be able to sign up. It will be on a case-by-case basis.

ZHPMafia.com also reserves the right to offer open enrollment from time to time. What does that mean? It means that we may open up the forum to new registrations. I'd expect open enrollments to last about a week. That said, open enrollment may never occur. I'm simply reserving the right to do it.

Prospective ZHP Mafia SIG members will be welcome here. Once ZHP Mafia is recognized as an official special interest group, there will be people who want to join. When they do, I will ask them if they are interested in becoming a member of ZHPMafia.com. If they are, they will be able to join the site.

Finally, you're probably wondering why I've decided to do this. There are several reasons, but these are the primary reasons:

ZHPMafia.com is sustained through commissions that you guys generate when you use our affiliate links here at the site. We also receive money from sponsors who pay to be here at ZHPMafia.com. For the most part, I do not have to reach into my pockets each month to make up financial shortfalls. It happens every now and then, but it's not often.

Once upon a time, I told you that I did not launch ZHPMafia.com to get rich. I meant that. Most forums remain open today because more eyeballs and members typically mean that forums can charge more for advertising. That's great if that's your goal. It's not mine. What's more, many of those forums wouldn't be the cesspools they are today if they had closed off registration to new members a long time ago. As I said, though, they remain open today. I'm guessing that's due to financial reasons.

We have always been a quality over quantity forum. I am quite content with the members we have today. While we can always improve, I find that our members are professional, courteous, thoughtful, and friendly. Our members also bring a lot of knowledge with them. Because that's true, I feel no reluctance to closing registration to new members.

I have friends who operate "members-only" forums. It works well. Many of those friends, though, shut off access to the entire world. If you land at one of their home pages, you can't navigate through threads or posts. They are invitation-only forums. Again, these forums work out well for those guys. I've clearly decided to do it in a slightly different way. I don't want to foreclose membership to guys/girls we'd clearly like to have at the site. By closing off the site entirely, though, we would miss out on some people (because we'd be invitation-only at that point). So, we're doing it a little different.

Additionally, as we've grown, it has become a little more difficult to attract the kinds of members that will fit in here. That's not surprising. While most potential members self select (realize that they will not fit in here -- and decide they will not join), some people who are less than ZHPMafia.com material join nonetheless. Once they're here, there isn't much we can do with them. They become a lot of work for moderators, though. They create a lot of wasted time for everyone. Closing off registration will also help us pick and choose (before they sign up) who we want and don't want around here.

Like the BMW 330 ZHP, ZHPMafia.com is somewhat rare. By closing off registration, we've probably taken a step toward being more exclusive than the ZHP option, though.

Still, remember this: we are as non special as the car itself. We don't take ourselves too seriously. We don't think we're better than anyone else. We just want a unique forum experience, free from the drama and theatrics that exist elsewhere.

You guys are a discriminating bunch. You guys expect quality. You prefer to be treated in a respectful way. Today's announcement is, I believe, a step in the right direction in making sure that those expectations are achieved.

You can discuss the announcement here (http://www.zhpmafia.com/forums/showthread.php?4949-ZHPMafia.com-to-Close-Registration-Effective-November-2-2011-Discuss-here).

10-03-2011, 02:45 PM
Updated closure date: October 15, 2011.