Member Rara Avis
Some of you may have noticed that our Membership level doesn't always rise.
Marge mentions we have 4,308 Members, but may not have realized it was well over five thousand about a month ago. It occasionally goes down, instead of up, because I periodically go through the roster and delete any usernames that have been registered but never used. I spend what is usually several hours doing that not because I'm obsessive (though I am), but rather because the size of our Member database directly impacts the speed of everything else in the forum.
Think about it for a minute. Large files make the server work harder and everything runs more slowly. When our Open Poetry forum gets too big and things start dragging around here, we close it down and open a new one. What happens when our Membership file gets "too" big?
I recognize the value of multiple usernames and have no problem when people exercise good judgement. Sadly, it's hard to force good judgement on someone and each case has to be treated individually. As Marge mentioned, I tend to get VERY irritated when I find someone abusing the system. I banned an IP just a few days ago because the same Member was registering a new name every two or three days. They can continue using the names they have, but they will never be able to register another new one.
I do anticipate making some small changes in the not too distant future (soon?). I would like to prevent new usernames from being too similar to existing ones, something not currently built into our software. I would also like to stop people from using unusual and difficult to reproduce characters in their names. But I don't expect to ever stop current Members from registering new names, and I usually try to avoid blowing the whistle on them when they do. Because I see no reason to penalize those with good judgement.