BETAing around the Bush!

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Why do so many Affiliate Companies have websites in Beta? It used to be the case that “beta” was the final stage before realising your software yet some of the betas are going on 2 years now, so what’s so badly wrong with the sites or software that they have to keep them in “beta” for such long periods. Now I have my guesses and the two working theories is that it’s either because of the giant mess DGM made of the now infamous “DMG Pro” so everyone is worried they might make such a mess of things and tag on “beta” so they can say well it had a few bugs. The other working theory is that it’s monkey see, monkey do for example Google’s Gmail has been in beta since 2004, yes that’s right 4 years in “beta testing” and that makes the couple of years some Affiliates Companies have been in beta seem like nothing. As far as I can tell Gmail is working as you would expect, maybe I am missing something.

However what worries me is, are these sites and systems so fundamentally flawed that they can’t move from the beta stage or is their some hidden meaning, for example is this a protection method so if their systems do mess up then they are legally protected i.e. say they don’t pay you out the commission your expecting is it just simply a case of saying, “but we told you this is a beta program, your using it at your own risk”.

Recently I was quite pleased to see Affiliate Future buck this trend of “beta” releases, by doing something that Paid On Results done also. Have beta testers test behind the scene before releasing the new version but still offer access to the old one when it’s live. The new version is fully working and not a beta version, sure a few bugs might appear as is expected with every system however they clearly believe in their product not to tag it as beta but respect the fact with such a huge upgrade some people will like to use the old version for a time until they get used to the new features. I like the new version and not just the looks it’s actually better by a mile than the last.

So come on guys, won’t point any fingers but get your stuff out of beta, show you actually believe in your product and are giving it your full backing. Beta doesn’t mean you can “delay offering full support and/or responsibility for remaining issues” get them sorted and give us “your customers/suppliers” the reassurance that we are not using some half-baked system that could collapse at any time.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Phil

    How long has the A4U forums had that beta star next to the logo? 😉

  2. Clarke

    To be far they did lose their lead developer on that project a few months after it went live, and I know they have a new chap on board now who, no doubt will have it out of Beta in no time.

  3. Paul Wright

    Wasn’t the beta thing all part of the web2.0 look and feel? Just check out this shocking list. Regardless, everybody knows there’s only one “official Beta” on the web. One of my favourite time wasters.

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