November 15, 2006
- The final stage in the testing of new software before its commercial release, conducted by testers other than its developers. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/betatest
I’ve been involved in the IT space for many years now, and the definition above was clearly supported in the traditional software development lifecycle. It seems like every product I run across now has a Beta disclaimer on their site. A Beta test obviously doesn’t have to be non-public anymore either. The entire world can now be considered Beta testers. And when is a product not considered Beta anymore? A product can be in Beta for several months, if not years. If we are now moving into the Web 2.0 world, should Web 1.0 be considered as one really long Beta test?
Why am I pondering this? The SplashCast crew is currently conducting internal QA testing and, as Alex mentioned yesterday, we will be ready for “Beta testing” soon. What does that mean to us? Well, the first few weeks will be very limited and available only to a small group of invited testers. This will allow us to get very personalized feedback and enable us to correct or change anything in the product that we missed or is not quite as intuitive as it should be. This fits my definition of a Beta test.
Then, we will open up our “Beta test” to a much larger group of “Beta testers” that have signed up via our web site. Given the nature of the SplashCast product, this essentially means the product is now public. Granted, it will be under continuous improvement based on user feedback. So when does it stop being a Beta product?
What does Beta mean to you? I believe a new lexicon is desperately needed. Any suggestions?
November 3, 2006
I think Michael Arrington at Techcrunch is partially correct in his assertion that the convergence of TV across all devices (traditional TV, PCs, and mobile devices) is the real win in the IPTV race. But I think he is missing the bigger story.
We believe the promise of IPTV is not to create a more convenient television experience, it is to completely redefine what television is. IPTV can finally “democratize the airwaves” by leveling the play-field between the established media networks and user-generated channels.
Services like SplashCast will enable anyone to build their own media channel, broadcasting content they’ve either created or aggregated. As I stated in a previous post, you will be able to flip between NBC Nightly News, the Techcrunch channel (to watch their daily vodcast), the Justin Timberlake channel (to get footage of him eating breakfast at IHOP — paid for by IHOP), the Barack Obama channel (to get the latest scoop on his presidential ambitions), and your brother’s channel (where your 4-year-old nephew is the star).
November 1, 2006
As a frugal web advertiser, I’d like to keep our ads fresh with dynamic content updates. Publish once to the ad network, update the ad content whenever I want, and the published ad automatically updates in realtime, everywhere it exists.
This works pretty well with text ads in Google AdSense. But I need the same flexibility and ease of use in my banner, flash, and video ads. Swap out an image, change the background music, add the new the video, update the text, keep it fresh.
Kim and I were discussing our pre-launch SplashCast advertising strategy today. Bemoaning how limiting static banner and flash ads can be, both of us simultaneously yelled over to our programmers, “So how many hours until beta? We need it now!”
Dynamically updated rich media advertising, yet another SplashCast possibility. Coming Soon (how soon, guys???)