beta invites Gmail is largely responsible for starting the “invite only” culture on the web.

Now when tech start-ups launch new beta products, only a small group of people (mostly comprising of tech-savvy early adopters) are given exclusive “beta invites” to test that new service.

These “early birds” are then given additional invites which they can pass-on to their friends and blog readers. Thus the cycle continues.

If you like to stay ahead of the curve and want access to new Web 2.0 products as early as possible, here are two ways to grab “beta invites”:

1. Join this group on Facebook – This is for bloggers who want to try out some new Web 2.0 sites and maybe blog about them (optional).

2. Hunt for invites at InviteShare – While the Facebook group is only for people who have a blog, InviteShare is open for all.

It’s like the Gmail invite spooler where anyone can request invites and people with spare invitations can decide who to pass on their invites. If you invite request cannot be met, it’s put in the queue or spooler.

At the time of writing, InviteShare had enough invites for Pownce, Joost, Jooce, GrandCentral, mySkitch and other Web 2.0 services that are still invite only. But the largest queue is for Hulu and iScrybe.