Our company is currently in development of software, which should help software developers better support their products. Currently we are still in development but are planing to get into private beta in spring of 2010. I have looked at a couple private betas and am trying to find more which are more like my kind of service. When signing up every company gets their own subdomain a lot like fogbugz.
Which sites have you found to have a cool private beta signup method? Or looked cool?
Some examples I have looked at:
Prefinery is an app specifically for managing your beta process. I believe it provides you with an invitation form. http://www.prefinery.com/
You can look at: https://www.atlassian.com/hosted/HostedEvaluation.jspa?showOptions=false&productId=1 There are several things I really liked about this trial (I'm evaluating Confluence now so I'm actively going through this process). While it's not a "beta" it has many of the same characteristics
This evaluation made me realize that the followup process is actually more important than the sign up process. I would expect this is true for getting feedback from beta customers also.
Since you write software, why not just write your own software for managing the beta test? That way, if you change your requirements then you can just make the change.
For example, you start with assuming everyone (all 10 original beta testers) will use the same version.
Then, you add a new feature, fix some bugs, get more testers, and you decide to try a focus group approach, so you will have three versions that differ slightly, to see which features get the best feedback.
So, when a user logs in they are directed to the correct version of the application
All of this is easy to use in Tomcat, using a filter, and in IIS using the ISAPI filter.
I tend to find that if I have to work around a framework then I would prefer just to write my own. :)