Last week we announced our Beta test program on our Facebook page, and then on the following Monday (last Monday), we invited 25 of those Facebook friends to add a special Award to their Outskirts Press shopping cart as part of the Beta Test. Interestingly, even though our Alpha Test (an internal test using some of our personal Facebook accounts) worked fine, this Beta Test (an external test featuring a small number of our actual authors) didn’t work nearly as well. But that is what is important about testing — we took that information from the initial Beta Test on Monday and our web developers made some adjustments to how Outskirts Press was “communicating” with Facebook.
We then invited those authors to test the Award again and had greater success. One thing we learned was that a greater percentage of authors than we expected do not leave themselves “logged-in” to Facebook, but rather log-out after their session with Facebook is complete. Our Outskirts Press functionality works nearly seamlessly when the author is logged in simultaneously with Facebook and Outskirts Press (through cookies), but otherwise, in order to receive the Achievement on Facebook, the author must first “Connect to Facebook” via the typical blue button that is becoming more prevalent on websites.
Ultimately, the beta testing was successful because we caught bugs in the programming we may have otherwise missed, which will allow us to launch this new, complicated functionality more successfully in the coming weeks. Then, our authors will be able to conveniently and automatically share their writing, publishing, and marketing milestones and achievements with all their Facebook friends.