I was able to obtain an invitation to Vox yesterday, and after using the invitation I got my first surprise — when you sign up for Vox, you don’t start out with all of the toys that everybody else has. You are initially inducted at Starter level. What’s that mean?
You don’t get your own weblog. Or really any opportunity to publish anything except for comments on other people’s weblogs. In the meantime you’re supposed to build your neighborhood (add existing users as contacts) and post comments. I guess at some point you get promoted to being a Standard user, and at that point you can start adding your own content to Vox, and invite other people to become Starters themselves.
On one hand, it’s a bit frustrating to be given the keys to a new car but then told that you can only start it in the driveway and listen to the radio, but on the other hand, I think this model could be very effective going forward in terms of building a more robust community. When I join a new community, I usually lurk for awhile to get a sense of how things operate before jumping in and annoying people. The Vox approach sort of enforces that kind of custom on new members. Before you get to leave the driveway you have to see how things work. At least that’s how things work now — it will be interesting to see if Six Apart sticks with it.
By the way, my Vox page is rafe.vox.com.