Something to remember, as we enter a new year: Yesterday's history, Tomorrow is a mystery and Today is a gift, that's why it is called "the present". [Via]

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Shhh... The City of Oakland website is in BETA

The immediate question would logically be “why hasn’t the City of Oakland advertise the new website?”

The answer, it is in BETA.

What’s BETA?

BETA is a term customarily used to describe a prototype that's in a testing phase. Most technology companies whether software or hardware base, test their products with a small audience, which is more manageable during this phase. Imagine the number of revisions to the website if everytime a bug or issue was found,  a fix was incorporated. It’s not a good use of time or good economics.

Why would they change their website to a BETA, and not go to an official release?

This is actually a smart move, transitioning between "alpha" and the official release. Beta releases also tend to be more buggy than the final version, and allows valuable information and issue identification which can be incorporated into the final releases.

Back to the original question “why hasn’t the City of Oakland advertize the new website?”

By not advertising the BETA website, users will tend to be either genuinely new or existing users seeking specific information which is what you want with BETA versions, as oppose to someone attempting to hack or cause the site to fail without regard to real life use.

In closing, let me say that we should try out the BETA site as we would normally do.

No, I do not work for the City of Oakland nor have they endorsed any of the above stated.