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To Prune, Or Not To Prune ...


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Membership here isn't so much "two steps forward, one step back," as it is "ten steps forward, nine steps back." Every month, I go in and prune members who meet two criteria:

1) They haven't ever posted

2) They haven't signed on in over a year

At the end of this month, we'll have 40-50 members to prune (which is actually less than most months), and yet, there are several people in the validation queue right now, waiting for approval, who would bring us up to over 3,000 members total.

Do I want the short-term payoff of validating them first, only to have the membership dip back into the 2,900s once the pruning process occurs?

Nah ... prune first, then validate - I can wait one more month.

Which brings me to an important point: Members with zero posts are, unfortunately, much more work than people who never sign up at all. Validating, then subsequently pruning 40-50 inactive members a year later is 5-6 hours of my life, gone, wasted. And that's every single month.

Fair warning: I've mentioned Google ads before, and I may go ahead and implement them for both visitors and members with zero posts. Members who have contributed to the website (i.e., who have posted) will not see these ads if they're signed in, and nothing will change for them. I haven't made a final decision yet, but this is what I'm leaning towards for now.



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