I know what you’re thinking, Eagle scouts should know their way around the woods. That is true but I’m not talking about smokey bears forest, I’m talking about the web designer and developer community Forrst. I’ve been playing in the digital woods for a while now and I’m impressed. I have mixed feelings about the whole “walled garden” thing because there are so many communities and networks around now a days (Facebook, LinkedIn, Ning, etc.) it’s usually better to leverage one of them rather than build your own community. However, in this instance, I was pleasantly surprised. In this post I’ll give you a glimpse at what Forrst is and tell you how you can join in on the conversation.
What is Forrst?
For those unfamiliar with the site, Forrst is a private community for web designers and developers. A place where we can go and ask questions, request critiques, share ideas and seek inspiration. Each user has a profile and can create posts. Posts are divided into 4 categories: questions, snaps, links and code. If posting isn’t your thing, you can respond/comment on other peoples posts contributing your knowledge and experience to the community.
The site revolves around a forum architecture where users can post interesting content/questions and other users can comment or contribute to the conversation. I’ve never really participated in forums before but there is something about Forrst that has me hooked. Not sure if it’s the sites focus or just that the site isn’t inundated with tons of users yet, but I find myself checking in several times a day and contributing when I have something useful to add.
Although Forrst is mostly about posts it’s important to note that there’s more to this community than just sharing content. They have partnered with AppSumo to offer special software package deals to members, users can create their own forrst.me profile pages and there are plans for a job/gig board in the near future. With these and other planned features Forrst is quickly becoming the place to be for designers and developers on the web.
How do I join?
I think One of the secrets to the sites success is that not just anyone can join. Each month existing members get a certain number of invitations based on their participation in the community (max 5 per month I think). Members then browse through those people who have applied for membership and invite those who they feel have something to contribute to the community. The interesting thing here is that your participation in the community then has an impact on the member who invited you. This forces members to be somewhat choosey about those who they extend invites too. It’s an interesting approach to a pretty common social networking feature that I think helps contribute to a great community of web workers.
If you would like to become a Forrst member, visit http://forrst.com and fill out the membership form. For those of you that are already members, share what you like/dislike the most about Forrst in the comments below.