In the real world there are walled gardens, ivory towers, private clubs.
Some places have dress codes, some require gobs of money, and others you need to pass a test in order to gain access.
But on the internet this is unacceptable. Online communities need to be open, transparent, and free. This philosophy has taken such roots, that to a lot of people the only way to move forward and succeed as an online community means being those things, throwing your gates open and breaking down the walls.
But should that always be the case? Last week I came across an article by Darren Hoyt that got me thinking about the type of community that could swim against the that trend, and possibly be better for it.
Dribbble is that type of community. A place for creatives to share what they’re working on with other creatives; to generate feedback, bounce around ideas, and otherwise hang out with peers.
Currently in beta it’s invite only, and those invites have been tough to come across. Only a handful of invites have been given out to the top designers in the industry, and only some of those users are able to invite others into the fold. It’s caused some to cry foul, claiming the service to be elitist and purely for the in-crowd, an ivory tower. And I can sympathize with them, I’ve yet to be invited myself, but I also see this sort of walled garden for professionals as an opportunity. So …