A real beta test

20 12 2007

As a geek I’m always on the lookout for little tools and gadgets that can make my life easier. It was in that spirit that I signed up for the Twine beta a couple weeks ago. Now, I still can’t tell you what exactly Twine does, but I was pleased to get this response a few days ago:

“We are doing a real beta test – not just slapping the word ‘beta’ on a released product. The true purpose of a beta test is to work closely with beta testers to gather feedback and improve a product before general release. Our plan is to do several waves of small tests, to gather first-round feedback and improve our service, before we begin to roll out to a wider audience.”

I think they’ve got the purpose of a beta test pretty well nailed, and I’ll be interested to see how closely they do work with their beta testers to gather feedback (assuming that I’m in on the beta). From my experience, working with beta testers can be beneficial, but it requires some work to let people know that you really do want to hear from them.

I’d like to be better about letting my beta testers know that I care about them, and I’m open to ideas on how to do that. Up to this point I’ve contacted them via phone and email on a semi-regular basis (every couple weeks), but haven’t created a website, newsletter, or anything else more formal to keep them up to date on how the product is evolving.

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