Why are invite codes sometimes required to create a free account?

When Dreamwidth first opened, we required people to have an invite code from an existing Dreamwidth user to create a free account. This system wasn't designed to stop individual people from creating new accounts, but to control how many new accounts were created at any given time. Using the invite code system meant that the number of accounts — both personal journals and communities — active on our site isn't greater than the quantity of resources — hardware, bandwidth, and help and support — we have to devote to them.

From the very beginning, we've planned Dreamwidth with two objectives in mind: rational, sustainable growth, and a business plan that would never require us to solicit any advertisements or sponsorships. Because we're fiercely committed to never allowing advertisements on our site, nor ever entering into any sponsorship relationship with any third party, all the money we need to keep the site running comes from paid account sales.

Because the percentage of accounts that are paid accounts has remained so high, we've been able to lift the invite code requirement. However, from time to time, depending on the pattern of growth and traffic, we may go back to requiring invite codes to create a free account.

Last Activity:
February 25th, 2012 (denise)


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