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One may have received a link from a participant who forgot to mention that the site is still in its private beta. And a login suggest "accessible". Having the "this site is currently in private beta, you're to late to sign up" shown after creating an account is a bit annoying.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Impossible -- we don't know who you are until you attempt to log in.

We need to know if you're on the whitelist or not, and that requires you to authenticate (show some form of identification).

edit: I see your point now, and I've added

Warning: this site is currently in private beta for (n) more days. Unless you committed to its Area 51 site proposal, you won't be able to log in!

To the login page during the private beta period.

alt text

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Well, just add a comment to the login page: Only people that committed to this page in Area51 are allowed in for the moment, as the site is in private beta. Come back in x days, if this is not you. –  malach Sep 3 '10 at 11:18
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But currently, when I visit a private beta like programmers.stackexchange.com, the title says "log in or register". So a new user would register not being aware of the privateness that you should at least somehow state somewhere. Those who are allowed know that they committed, so I second @Ralph –  Tobias Kienzler Sep 3 '10 at 11:26
    
Some people may be directed to private betas not yet having an open ID and not having used SOFU so far, so how are they to know that they can't access the site anyway and then, when public, won't have to log in to "just browse"? –  Tobias Kienzler Sep 3 '10 at 11:30
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