Like Nick and David, I also add my welcome to our (relatively) new blog. In the first post, David mentioned that the site is currently in “private alpha”. As the technology department, I felt it my duty to elaborate a bit on that phrase. “Private” because you must be registered to view the site and that we are only handing out registrations on a case-by-case basis. As the year progresses, we plan to increase the rate at which we hand out registrations and eventually allow anyone to self-register. And “alpha” because the site still needs work. It’s currently rough around the edges and needs a bit more polish before we open it up to a broader audience. Our current users are providing great feedback on where we should be focusing our attention. (As an aside, we avoided the more common term “beta” because its ubiquity has sapped its meaning – gmail users will know what I mean.)
But then again, as with most web applications – at least the successful ones, we do not plan to ever sit back and declare the site completed. Our list of potential enhancements is long and we expect to gather great ideas for improvements from our users. A key factor that initially sold me on the core idea of the site – the organizational method – was that although it was useful in its bare form, it also provided many launching points for extensions. Indeed, managing the flood of “killer” ideas has been one of our bigger challenges. As we work to remove the “private alpha” label I look forward to using this blog to describe these ideas as they are being built.