No, not that 707. That one belongs to John Travolta.
The 707 I’m talking about are the seven hundred and seven people who signed up for the SpyParty Early-Access Beta without knowing that’s what they were signing up for. You see, back on Valentine’s Day, I quietly put up a sign-in form on the sidebar of this blog, “below the fold”, just to test it out. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with the list of names at that point, but I figured it’d be good to start gathering them. A few folks noticed immediately, but I wasn’t ready to announce anything, so I just left it up there, slowly gathering email addresses for some unspecified “future playtest”.
In all, 707 people signed up between February 14th and April 15th, when I took the form down to get the backend code ready for accepting Early-Access Beta signups. A few of those are my test accounts, but most were just people who came to the site and entered their email address.
The good news (for them) is they are first in line for the Early-Access Beta. If you tried to sign up after the announcement but were told you were already subscribed, then you must have signed up during the spring and are one of the 707.
The bad news (for them) is since I didn’t have any of the beta stuff figured out back then, I’m going to ask them to reconfirm their sign-up to keep their place in line. As I’ve said before, I want to make sure a high percentage of people I invite will actually pay and register for the beta so I don’t have to churn through tons of invites to get a given number of registrations. I’d like to be able to send 20 emails and know I’m going to get about 18 registrations, or something close to that. I don’t want to have to send 500 emails to get 20 signups, because then I might randomly get 150 signups, and that would screw up my work on slowly scaling the backend. I don’t want to invite 500 and then have 480 people see an “oops, sorry, already full” message, because that’s annoying too.
So, I want to make sure people who have signed up are going to register. Since the 707 had no idea what they were signing up for, or that it would actually cost money, I’m going to send them all an email with a link to reconfirm their subscriptions. The email will explain the situation, link to the details of how the beta will work,1 and ask them to click a link to reconfirm. There’s no time limit on this, and I’ll always invite in order of earliest sign up date,2 so if you are in the Antarctic and don’t get the mail immediately, you’ll still be able to reserve your place in line, you just won’t get invited until you confirm.
I’ll have more details about the registration process in a few days. Sadly, I still have a bunch of work to do, but I’m getting closer. Thanks for being patient!
Oh, and since I was asked on twitter, there are currently 8006 people signed up and confirmed, or 7299 if you don’t count the 707. 647 people have not confirmed the initial opt-in email, which is about 8%, which I’m told is very good for this sort of thing.3 I might send out a single “hey, did you forget to confirm” reminder to those people, but I’m not going to worry too much about them. The long tail sign-up rate appears to be about 20 per day.
- I really need to go through the comments on the sign up page and put together the Beta FAQ! [↩]
- …maybe with a few random choices for each invite batch from anywhere in the line just to keep people on their toes! [↩]
- So, I guess that means the tens of thousands of emails I sent while load-testing didn’t get me marked as a spammer, which is nice. [↩]