Funny thing is that, despite I have your RSS feed in Netvibes (which I check regularly) I have first seen your announcement in the comments to the Ian Landsman's blog. And just as I registered for your site, I found this post. :)
Funny, after filling out all the fields I found out I was already registered ....
I am not sure if #4 - not having outside search is a good idea. Visibility always helps - unless you want to keep this a tight club... which also has its own merits. (See Nick Carr's Numbskulls post:-) )
The registration form asks for way to much personal data - street address, cellphone ..etc are highly unusual. I think a generally good privacy principle is to never ask for more data than you need and is reasonable. Again, if you expect large participation, this will be detrimental, if you expect a club of those who know you, no problem.
Personally, I don't ever sign up for sites asking that much information. The only reason I did not quit the form is that it's not some unknown company but you... but is that the right approach?
Zoli, welcome aboard:
1. Agreed on the need to minimze data requested. This is now fixed.
2. We are debating whether to open the forums up to search engine indexing. Chances are, we'll leave it closed as this provides stronger controls and more comfort to the community members.
I vote to keep it closed to search engines. That is what has got me the most interested in this new forum. I cringe at some of the converstation at Bos that has been picked up by google.
This will be very interesting. I agree with everything you said about the JoS forum software limitations. Joel felt early on that SIMPLICITY of the interface was an advantage. I disagree, but the JoS forums are very interesting. I've always wondered if that was a function of the SIMPLICITY of the forum or of joel's artiicles pulling in a good crowd.
Your forum may give us an opportunity to test the above.