My site just went into Beta release last week. I am at the point where I would like to get a certain number of Beta users on the site so that I can get more feedback. Right now I have people using the site who are people I know and potential customers, but I would like to grow that to a larger population. Any suggestions on how to approach this?
A year ago launched my first product - it's a downloadable utility for the Windows platform. What I did to get beta testers is:
In my case it was a software application. In your case it's obviously different.
I asked a similar question on the Programmers site, without much luck. You can, however, take a look at Joel Spolsky's Top Twelve Tips for Running a Beta Test for advice on how to actually run the beta. Also, I found this article mentioning several sites that might be useful in getting feedback for your project.
Your users must have friends. You could add a simple invite system. Let your users sell your product for you. If they love it, they will promote it.
In addition to getting beta testers, is your product/service open for free trials. That will help get a few more testers in to/through the system. If you need to you can offer scholarships or deep discounts. I guess you can also say first 100? members are free.
Also be sure to followup with surveymonkey survey if you have emails, or offer clear feedback options during parts of your service.
Also your first 10 beta testers could be your friends or peer group, so be sure to do that manually too.