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Let's talk about putting up barriers of entry to your latest Web 2-point-ohhhh project. I don't know about you, but I'm getting invited to web apps and social networks that I've never even heard of before (and a lot of them sound the same to me). Signing up is all the same: click here to join, fill out these fields, upload an image and wa-lah, you're in.

Recently, though, I heard about Brightkite. And you know what? Somebody that's already a member has to invite you in. You can't just go and sign up. So, automatically, I want in. My interest is piqued. I have to work a little to get in. And if I work a little, I value the reward more. We've actually used this in some of the movements we've built because it easily separates those who really want in from those that are aren't really interested, but are willing to fill out a field or two.
Why? Say it with me now, "Because people want what they can't have."
I'm not saying that you need to make it painfully difficult for someone to join your movement, but at least let them work for it a little. This philosophy doesn't resonate with a lot of companies, because they think success in life is all about the quantity. But there's no depth. It's like that guy we all know who has 56,000 contacts in Linkedin. There's no quality. No depth to those relationships.
Barriers bring with them a sense of exclusivity. Everyone wants in the party that hardly anyone gets into. I'm not saying this is right for all social networks, but before you throw open the doors to the entire world, why not invite those true kindred spirits .... those biggest fans .... to the party first. Hell, let them be the gatekeepers even. And then watch how the barriers can become assets.

Continue reading "Barriers of Entry are GOOD" ... Read the full article

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Spike Jones

Brains on Fire

Spike Jones hails from the Lone Star state, where they brainwash you at an early age to take pride in who you are and where you're from (and they sure got a hold of him). After graduating from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, he bounced around the country and finally landed in the Southeast over at the naming and identity company of Brains on Fire (

He began his career there as a copywriter, crafting compelling stories for national and international clients. And while Spike still enjoys wordsmithing, he is now involved on the creative strategy side of the business from insight to the creation of word of mouth movements to building regional and national identities for companies across many industries. Brands he’s helped strengthen include BMW, Rawlings Sporting Goods, Dagger Kayaks, Don Pablo’s Mexican Restaurants, Fiskars Brands, Yakima, Perception Kayaks and Rage Against the Haze (South Carolina’s youth-led anti-tobacco movement).

Spike has been a speaker at national and local events and is the main contributor to the Brains on Fire group blog (, which discusses current naming, identity and word of mouth issues and trends. It is also among the top read and resourced blogs in the marketing industry

When he’s not around his favorite people in the world (his fellow Brains on Fire-mates) or traveling around the country, you can find Spike out for a run flanked by his 100 lb. Chocolate lab, Mud.

Contact info:
Brains on Fire
148 River Street, Suite 100
Greenville, SC 29601

that fancy electronic mail:

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