suggestion: a more frictionless user experience for newbies
I was quite surprised to see that EdgeRyders has taken a principled objection to oAuth tools that would allow prospective members to sign up to the EdgeRyders community with the click of a button-- a tool which authorizes data to be pulled directly from Facebook or Twitter.
I am a huge fan of privacy myself, but consider the massive downside of forcing new users to create a new registered profile from scratch. Namely, we would be asking new users to do something that no one does anymore. So we are shifting the burden onto new prospective members to care enough to fill out a form. While this burdening may be appropriate for those applying to the university or a job, it seems like EdgeRyders might miss out on the opportunity to attract lots of users who would simply be "weak users" initially. I.e. they will only start out as passive readers. However weak users can turn into strong users over time, when the moment is right for them. This transformational phenomenon is something that has been referred to as the "reader-to-leader framework" (http://www.cs.umd.edu/~ben/papers/Jennifer2009Reader.pdf). I originally wanted to post this comment within a dev group, but I didn't have default permissions to do that, so right now, I still see a website that may be inadvertently biased towards users who are pre-commited, to whom EdgeRyders means a whole lot.
I began to think about this as I was asked to start brainstorming ideas on the marketing side of things. The more porous EdgeRyders is as a platform, the easier it would be for me to suck in outsiders who could potentially transform into much more active members over time. oAuth is one such solution, even if it isn't trendy given the privacy scandals of recent day.
It also need not be the only solution. But I have been meaning to share this observation for quite some time, as I observe my own state of mind online. I find myself always wanting to keep my EdgeRyders communications on Facebook as much as possible, unless absolutely necessary (don't ask me why -- it's a lizard brain thing). So now you will find me on the site itself much more frequently because the timing is right for me and I am ready to be more committed as I have recently made some decisions to work more closely on #Lote, etc.
I don't have access to backend analytics but my guess is that EdgeRyders could benefit from a strategy that make it easy and frictionless for newbies to dip their toes into the sometimes frigid waters of online collaboration.