State of the Master Beta Tester List

its fate is in your hands

I've been thinking, and a few of us mods were talking, and I've now decided to put this issue to you guys.

What do you think of the Master Beta Tester List?
Has anybody found it to be a valuable resource as I had originally hoped?
Is there a need?
Do you see people ignoring it?
What is good/bad about it?

Your responses may very well determine which of the following possibilities occur:
MBTL gets unpinned and left to drop into obscurity.
MBTL gets unpinned, locked, and a new one is created in identical form.
MBTL gets unpinned, locked, and a new one is created with your suggested changes.
Something else!!!

Additionally, I'm curious as to your thoughts on the other pinned topics.

Although I've never gone through the MBTL or the Un-employment thread looking for people to "hire" I think that the contacts on those threads are old and outdated. A person's email address may have changed, they might have moved on with life and be unavailable, etc. And they aren't really serving their purpose, people still post threads asking for help with their projects.

So what would you propose? De-pin it and let it die or start a new one? In the past I've gone through and checked to see who was still active and delete the inactive members from it. That's another option, but a time-consuming one.

I say that it should be de-pinned and left to rest in peace for lack of a better option. Who knows, maybe a better option will come along.

Chances are if people aren't actively checking into the boards, they won't be that thrilled if you email them one day and say "Can you work on my TC?"

@jacabyte, on Apr 16 2007, 07:56 AM, said in State of the Master Beta Tester List:

I say that it should be de-pinned and left to rest in peace for lack of a better option. Who knows, maybe a better option will come along.

Agreed, and the same for the unemployment one. If people do want beta testers I think it's best to just make a topic asking for them.

I can’t see any purpose in having old contact details around — for me it’s a question of whether or not we should create a new one when we take the old one down. I don’t think there’s much risk of losing anyone by doing this; anyone who doesn’t see the new topic and sign up again probably wasn’t interested any more anyway.

We'd have to do this rather frequently, say, every few months or so we'd need a new unemployment/master beta tester list. That would increase their use. Especially if we told people to look at those in addition to making a new topic.

Perhaps developers prefer in-house beta testing or close friend beta testing? I've posted my own application on there quite awhiles back and was never contacted for any of my services. I presume then that developers are not looking towards that list or there are too many people on that list whose contact information is out-dated and therefore became discouraged.

I suggest we unpin it, let it fade into obscurity, and see if developers start requesting it back/ or a new one.

Speaking from experience, the MBTL was not of any use, or barely, when I was trying to find beta testers for ARPIA2. I knew what I wanted: one or two very knowledgeable WinNova users (I got slouch and Belthazar, probably the best in that field, at least at the time I'd known about the two of them since a topic in the EVDC concerning the fact Arpia1 didn't work on WinNova, due to the interface size), and a few other testers. In the end, for the "few other testers", I sent an e-mail or a PM to those I'd known personally for some time ("personally" basically, people from the Kontik Research Front) or to those I knew were very good at nitpicking. And I ended up only getting one new beta-tester, among those: Guy.

Three beta-testers found via ASW, no use of the MBTL.

But I wasn't disappointed, not in the least: in his week of testing (we thought we would get the new ship graphics in that very same week, but in the end, we had to wait a few more months), Guy found out a gazillion spelling/logic/ mistakes, and came up with a gazillion other suggestions. When Belthy & slouch had been on the case, they'd also found masses of things to point out.

Then you can add less important testing (but still useful) by the people who contributed to ARPIA2, most notably by insomniac.

And then, when you add my brother's testing and my own to the list, it made up for a pretty solid basis for release.

So yeah, that list wasn't all that useful. Not to me, at any rate, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who proceeds/proceeded that way.

I know two things.

  1. I haven't updated my post in the unemployment thread in at least a year.

  2. Because I assume the MBTL won't be much different, I didn't have any intention of using it for forming CTC's beta group.

Alright, I'm going to de-pin it, which should instantly bury it. Topic is here.

So... new one or not?

I will say a new one, but not now. Right now, we haven't seen much in term of plugs or TCs.

Hmm One advantage I see (saw?) with the MBTL is (was?) that it allows (ed?) to secretely recruit a beta team and keep the surprise effect. Though, with PMs and AmbrosiaSpace, it should still be possible to do so, just don't forget to recruit a few non-devers from the Nova board too.

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