We'd like to announce that in response to your suggestions and feedback about opening up the site, we have made the following changes to our NEW page and LB FORUM:

1. New members and members with lower reputation will not have their looks included initially on the NEW page.

New members' and low-rep members' looks will be excluded from the NEW page when they are just posted, even when Karma Filter is off. For their looks to be visible on the NEW page, they must first build up their reputation/karma level. By requiring that new members' earn karma before they can get their looks on the NEW page, we ensure that users who have been around and earned karma will not have their looks buried too quickly by new members--who are much more likely to break the rules and/or post low quality photos. (We will address the ways a new user can get their look on the NEW page even with low or no reputation.)

2. New members will not be able to post on LB FORUM until they have been an active member for a period of time.

We believe that new members must be required to spend some time learning about the community, reading the forums, and getting the hang of the site before posting their own topics and comments. This will also help to deter trolls and prevent new members from posting forbidden or redundant topics.

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You guys have expressed a lot of different reactions, understandably. We are listening and we want to make sure that all your questions and concerns are addressed one by one. Here are some of the most common issues you raised, and our responses below:

It was already hard to get noticed before. Now that the NEW page is flooded with looks from new users, it's going to be even harder!

If you've been an active member of the community and have an established reputation, rest assured that your look will not be buried too quickly by new members' looks. From now on new members' and low-rep members' looks won't be initially published on the NEW page. Members with low or no reputation will need to earn hype from community members in order to have their looks become visible (even with the Karma Filter off).

But I am a new member. How can I possibly get my look noticed if my look isn't even included on the NEW page at all?

There are many different ways that you can successfully promote your first look(s) and gain the few hypes you need you get your reputation up enough to be published on the NEW page.

1. Post a clear photo that shows your style at its best. Make a good first impression.
2. Follow the rules! If your first look is flagged, it will NEGATIVELY affect your reputation and make it difficult to recover.
3. Be active in the community. Give genuine feedback and compliments (beyond just "love it!") and hype/fan the people you like so that they will in turn scope out your profile and do the same. (NOTE: it is NOT considered cool to leave comments *asking* people to "check out your look" and "hype you back." This is unnecessary. If your comment is meaningful, making new friends won't be hard.)
4. Use our look and profile widgets to drive traffic to your look from your blog. Chances are if you have a fashion blog, some of your readers are probably LB members who can show you love.
5. Connect your account with Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr so that your friends who are on LB can stay updated with your recent looks and give you hype.

Everyone starts at 0 reputation and can successfully promote their look enough to earn the little hype needed to get published on the new page. Just remember: we know if you are cheating.

NOTE: Creating multiple accounts to hype yourself will not help.

I'm pretty sure LOOKBOOK.nu will get flooded by unwanted members: spammers, trollers, impostors, and offensive, rude, or obscene people in general.

Our community is full of volunteers who actively flag spammers and trolls and bring these types of issues to the attention of our moderators, who have the ability to ban users. We are aware that we will need to step up our security to keep these kinds of people out, but we have faith that there are enough awesome people watching over our community that honestly, it will be okay.

Forum is going to be filled with the same old tired topics from new users.

This is why we are now requiring new members to go through an extended period where they will not be able to post topics or replies in the forums. Our forums are intended for power users who understand what the community is about and know what types of topics are prohibited. Requiring new members to go through this waiting period is our way of deterring trolls and new members who are eager to post redundant, prohibited, offensive, or inappropriate posts in LB FORUM.

It took me long to apply and get my invite. It's unfair that anyone can join now!

That's exactly why we opened it up. It was taking way too long for moderators to go through our backed up applicants list and invite people who deserved to be invited. We feel that it's more fair now. Anyone can create an account and interact with (hype, comment, fan) the people that inspire them. And if they're up for it, they can also put their best foot forward and build up their own audience on LOOKBOOK.nu.

Does this mean LB will always crash?

Not at all. Fingers crossed, but we believe that our servers are in great shape and will be able to support the continued growth and development of our community!

What was wrong with letting people hype and comment via Twitter, Facebook, & Tumblr? Why does everyone need to become a full member?

We believe that everyone who is interested in fashion and photography should have the opportunity to inspire and be inspired by others on LOOKBOOK.nu. Our "connect" members who were previously logging in with Twitter, FB, etc. couldn't even "fan" their favorite users and get updated with new looks. They also couldn't have a profile to keep track of their hypes, much less post and document their daily looks. While we believe that to be featured in our gallery is a privilege that must be earned by reputation, everyone should have the right to be a part of the community.

LB was special because it was exclusive. Now it's going to be totally different and this sucks!

Actually, we believe that LB won't change very noticeably at all. We will still feature awe-inspiring looks from amazing people all over the world. We will still have a passionate community working hard to ensure that quality stays high and that the community is spam-free, safe and fun. We will have more members and more activity, but that just means that the talented people of LB will be able to grow their audiences and get more exposure for themselves, their blogs, and their work. We fully believe that giving everyone the opportunity to have a profile will make LB a more vibrant place.

Have we left something out? Please leave a comment and let us know!

UPDATE 8/29: Thanks for reading and hearing us out guys. Here's a few answers to some of the questions and concerns that were brought up by some of you in the comments:

What's the exact difference between "moderate" and "strict" on the Karma Filter?

Oops! Sorry we didn't address this earlier. The "moderate" setting is simply the old Karma Filter "on" setting, while "strict" is a new setting we added for those who feel that the Karma Filter needs to be more selective. On "strict" only looks which have been posted by high-rep members AND looks from all members that have gained significant hype will be shown.

Only having popular members on the NEW page is rather unfair. We all clearly love fashion...and we all deserve a right to be seen, new or old.

If we displayed looks by every single member on the NEW page, everyone would suffer from not getting seen! So many looks are now added that if the NEW page showed every single look posted, your look would be lucky to get a few glances before it got pushed down beyond the first page. While we agree that every one deserves the chance to shine, having your look displayed on the NEW page of LOOKBOOK.nu--a gallery that is viewed by hundreds of thousands of people every day--is a privilege that needs to be earned, not a right that is just given away. Members who have proven themselves and worked hard to build up their reputation on the site deserve to be protected from getting pushed down the NEW page at an unreasonably fast rate by new members. Contrary to what some may think, it's not about "popularity." It's about inspiration. If your style can inspire others, you deserve more exposure. This is and has always been our simple belief.

I think the new changes to LB are really unfair. The NEW page is basically another HOT page. How is anyone supposed to get hypes if their new posts are not featured on the New Page?

As we already outlined, there are many ways you can promote yourself and your looks as a new member (without being too spammy and coming off as a "hype whore" by asking people to check out your looks on every single comment). Be active in the community. Fan people. Leave meaningful and specific compliments--or even constructive feedback and respectful opinions--on the looks you find interesting. Make friends with users who have been around longer and are more experienced. Promote your new LB profile and your new looks on your blog, Tumblr, and social networks by sharing or adding a LB widget. All of these are ways to connect with new and old LB members who could potentially give you karma and help build your reputation. Not only does this system reward people who genuinely want to be a part of the community, it also makes sure that obscene looks, fake (impostor) looks, and trolls are not automatically included in the LB gallery.

How much karma exactly do you need to get in order to be included on the NEW page?

Currently it only takes one hype from a member with a "trusted" reputation to make the look visible.

Now that anyone can join, I feel uncomfortable that [unwanted people] can join and look and comment at my looks.

You control your comments and can delete any of them. Also, if you see anyone acting suspicious, rude or hateful, just let us know by flagging and our moderators will take the appropriate actions.