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Since we're all into this OpenID thing, I think it would be really useful (and quite easy) to implement a friend invitation feature that grabs a list of friends from one's webmail contact list with an option to choose who to invite to SO, SF or SU. Something in the line of Facebook's friend invitation and recommendation feature.

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How to invite friends?

  • Find a great question you think they might be able to answer well. Send them a link, invite them to answer.
  • Send them links to your profile
  • Put your SO/SF Flair link on your blog
  • Find a 'question of the day' to write on your whiteboard at work; change it frequently with a new number.
  • Put a link to your SO/SF profile in your email signature, forums signature, etc.
  • Put the top 5 voted questions RSS feed on your blog
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It's not really a question. I'm just framing a feature request in the form of a question. Isn't that how it's done here? ;-) – GeneQ Jul 16 '09 at 4:25
@Gene... understood. I kind of diverged from your feature request into some other set of solutions more to do with organic linking. – p.campbell Jul 16 '09 at 4:30

Please don't do that Jeff, you don't want to participate in a spam-my-friends-for-me type of endeavour.

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Good point. But I think SO users are not MySpace teenagers. We're supposed to be professionals. The SO crowd is more like those in LinkedIn. – GeneQ Jul 16 '09 at 4:29
BTW, only allowing people with certain level of rep to use this feature might mitigate the problem you pointed out. – GeneQ Jul 16 '09 at 4:34

I think the key thing to realize here is that you shouldn't pressure people into using SO (unless there on experts-exchange). I agree with because those are all passive ways to get people interested.

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