i have noticed over the last month or so, that there are alot of guests appearing on the site! (2 or 3-1)...i know that they cant post to threads etc, but they can read info & contact alot of members that post ph# in there ads...i say this isnt fair!!!!...IMO, something should be done about makeing guests become members! ...what do you all think about this???...comments please
The big surge in guests you see on the site are 100% coming from search engines. The site re-org wiped us out of the search engines for a bit but we came back with a better structure and are now ranking better than we ever have. The guests are coming to read about something they were searching for. I would be pissed if I was forced to register just to see something I was searching for. Additionally if the content was blocked to guests it would be blocked to search engines and then we would have no guests (and the site would not grow). You might also be seeing a slight rise in the number of guests as I made photos and attachments visible to users who are not logged in a couple of weeks back. We have a lot of users who do a lot of reading and not a lot of posting. By altering the photo permissions they no longer have to login to get the full site.
From your post I think you are mostly concerned about guests seeing the contact info for AD's in the market place section. I like to think of the marketplace section like Craigslist. If you want your phone number out there for all to see post it in the thread. If you want a layer between you simply request that contact be made via PM.
In the end, I really don't want to force people to register. I hate it when sites make me do that and it will clutter up our user database with a bunch of people who are not going to actually hang out on the site long term.