Admit what you might ask? Admit someone to a Group/Coven/House or whatever you prefer to call it. If you are running a group of any kind, you will want to gain new members, and you will most likely want to gain the right type of members. Sounds simple enough doesn’t it, but in reality it isn’t that simple at all.
These days, anyone can be anyone, especially online – and in non-mainsteam communities like ours, its often best not to meet someone face to face unless you have kind of got to know them a little better online first. Technology makes things easier for us, but it also creates a whole lot of added problems.
The way I see it, there are a few types of applicants one would get in a situation like ours:
1) The roleplayers who want to get more into the ‘role’
2) Lifestylers, who aren’t vamps, but want to ‘live the lifestyle’
3) Fanatics, who hate us and want to get inside info to try take us down
4) Twilight (and other) fans who just want to meet vampyres and maybe want to be ‘turned’ *sigh*
5) Sociopaths/psychopaths etc, who might want to join because they think they can use it as a reason to do whatever they might want to do.
6) Genuine vamps, otherkin or vampyre friendly people, who genuinely want to get involved because it is who they are.
All of the above, with the exception of the last one, can cause problems and an application form or even a single face to face meeting can not really weed out the genuine ones from the others.
In a general online social network group, its not that important who is a member because its just a general group and members can always be deleted or banned by admin if need be, but for a more organized group within a community, ‘vetting’ applications become very important because we tend to share more of ourselves there. If we are sharing ourselves, both online and face to face we need to know exactly who it is we are dealing with, because we will be putting both ourselves and our members at risk if the ‘wrong’ person gets admitted.
Obviously some of the abovementioned types can cause more dangerous problems than others, but we need to be careful of all prospective members.
Different groups have their own ways of ‘vetting’ applicants, which I’m sure they wouldn’t want to give details of, but on the whole, I would say its a good idea to first get a ‘feel’ for an applicant online, chat with them, interact with them in a general group and get to see what kind of member they will make. If an existing member personally knows the applicant it’s easier because then you have a personal recommendation, but that isn’t always the case, especially in a new community that is still building up.
Criteria for membership need to be worked out beforehand, for instance if you group is only for your area, region, state, country or if its an international group. The more widespread your membership, the more difficult it might be to vet applicants. You also need to decide if its for a specific section of a community or a wider section. Age comes into play as well and groups may want to specifiy that applicants are at least of a specific age, unless they have parental consent (where applicable).
Criminal records is something else that might be asked about as it could cause problems – especially when people turn out to be anything other than advertised.
Basically your ‘application form(s)’ should have the kinds of questions that help you to weed out the ‘chaff’ from the ‘wheat’. Your application form is your first line of defence, and the applicants first chance to make a good impression so it needs to be compiled carefully to allow you to find out what you want and allow the applicant to show you how they can benefit your group. Your safety and the safety of your whole group depends on this, so it should be taken seriously.
So Bite Me!