Notes from and about the Friends and Family Beta of Empire Avenue

Wow. We launched our closed beta for “Friends and Family” on Tuesday, February 23rd, and we are extremely impressed! We currently have about 250 people on the site, testing and working through the system, who have provided fantastic feedback that we are starting to act on.
 
We’ve learned quite a bit about how our “Market Makers” are working, and how people are interacting with different parts of the interface. Goes to show that you can make the best guesses in the world, but in the end real live humans will always show what works and what doesn’t. 
 
What makes this even more exciting is to see that people are having fun and that people are intrigued by the potential of the site, idea and the business! I thought this would be a good time to talk about what happens next.
 
Our closed beta testers have provided invaluable feedback and real-world data that we are now combing through, prioritizing and fixing (if bug-related). Over the next week we will implement new systems, tweak our algorithms and see how people react to them. We’re also going to launch several new features on the site, some of which are Beta-Tester-suggested.
 
If you haven’t given us feedback, there is a handy “Feedback” button attached to the left hand side of the screen. We do read every submission that comes in, so if you have feature requests, bug reports or anything else you want to tell us, please do send in feedback.
 
Now, remember, unlike the millions of sites that remain in “beta” for years, our Friends and Family Beta is a very real beta. Our game plan is to move the site into an “Invite Beta” – where you get to invite others to the site – over the next few weeks, once we are happy with how the closed beta is going. At that point, we will reset the system. Do not worry; we are working on providing some reward to all our Friends and Family Beta Testers on the site for all their hard work and feedback… not to mention the special achievement that you’ve unlocked.
 
If you want to follow the changes we are making, we have a “Release Notes” section on our site available to logged-in users. You can also follow us on @empireave on Twitter and you can contact me through @dups.
 
So, thanks very much to all our beta testers. Keep at it, provide us the feedback to create a system that all of us can be proud of. This site, concept and our company is dedicated to showing your value to people and to allow you to reap the rewards from it, whether it is real-world money or online reputation… or even just a bit of fun.

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