By now you have surely gotten used to the idea that sites love to launch in beta because this lets people know that some things may be wrong with the site and it kind of lets you get away with a lot of things. 9rules has been in beta for the last 3 years, but we never put it out there because beta sucks. Wait…
Actually people like getting into betas. Have you ever beta tested a video game and felt a little cooler for doing so? What about sites that do beta invites? Everyone seems to clamor for one. Its gotten to the point where beta was cool, then we hated that everything was beta, we got used to everything being beta and now we just want to get into anything that is beta. But what site isn’t ever done improving (okay a lot more than you think)?
The idea of beta is great for that short week of trying to get people hyped up for your site. Beta is a great idea if you want to be able to tell people well we are in beta so we are allowed to get away with these errors. 9rules has errors that are found by our users all the time and we aren’t in “official” beta, but in all honesty what is the difference between always finding ways to improving your site and being in beta?
There are arguments going on involving the World of Warcraft that it is in constant beta because patches come out on an almost weekly basis, yet people continue to play. What does beta mean anymore? For me beta used to be a point in a product’s cycle that you are trying to reach where there are no errors and no more features added. We never reach that point on 9rules so our beta is different to the point where we can’t see it as beta anymore.
I’m not complaining about sites that label themselves as being in beta because I have gotten use to it, but do the positives of doing so outweigh the negatives anymore? How many everyday users want to be a part of something beta vs. something that’s just live because it is ready?
Hell, I think from now on when someone has a complaint to say about me I’m just going to tell them I am in beta because I still have some bugs to work out and some Scrivs’ features that need to implemented. You think that will fly with the ladies at the bar? Don’t think they would be too impressed that I’m only at Scrivs 0.48 right now though, but it is worth giving it a shot.