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Monthly Archives: October 2007

I’ve decided to move ThotMarket beck into a period of closed beta testing. This was not an easy decision to make, since it will no doubt put the skids on much of the momentum the site has experienced since the (original) public beta launch in August. The reason this is being done is so the market can be given a thorough rework in a more controlled environment than is provided by the public beta. It is clear that the site doesn’t work properly at the moment. The tweaking and testing that has been going on so far isn’t producing many results other than frustrating older users and confusing newer ones.

So, what does closed beta mean? Initially, only private users have access to the site while some changes and testing occurs. Within the next week, we will begin to invite public users in to the site in some controlled fashion (you can apply for this access on the site now). Beta testers will find a new site meaning that there will not be carry over of thots from the previously public version. During this closed beta, test users will be permitted to browse and populate the site as usual. From time to time, test users may be asked to provide feedback about their experience via email. This will not be the same experience as the public beta, however, since there will be fewer users and the system may be completely reset during the process. The purpose is to test the system before re-launch. Only user who are motivated to contribute to the creation of the new ThotMarket should volunteer to participate.

Once we are confident that the new site is stable, we will re-launch the public site. The new site will have new features and should be more mature in several ways.

If you don’t want to participate in the closed beta, but want to try out ThotMarket when if re-launches, please sign up for an email notification.

How long will this all take? I don’t know. It will take a few weeks at a minimum. There really isn’t any point in re-launching the site until it works. We have learned that a virtual market like this is a tremendously complex organism and taming it is no small undertaking.

Will your previous user account still work after re-launch? Yes.

Will you’re existing thots and thollars still exist after re-launch? I don’t know (yet).

I want to thank everyone who has helped the site get to this point and beyond.

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Okay, so in the face of mounting issues and a number of updates that are half complete, I decide to take almost two weeks off from the site. Well, I didn’t really get to decide, but that’s not the issue. In any case, the site slides further out of balance, some things go negative, things start sucking, people get frustrated. Traffic is down, tempers are up, the sky is falling!

Why am I not worried? Because I’m investing for the long-term. The last month and a half have demonstrated that there is a demand for the model. If we can get the model working, people will use the site. The model doesn’t work right now, but that can be fixed. That is exciting!

I’ve updated the algorithm for calculating price moves and dividends. As stated earlier the moves are more directly based on the percentage changes of owned shares. The dividends are paid out of the market cap. Will this work? I don’t know, but we’ll find out soon.

I’ve also done a market correction. That means I slashed some holdings and balances. Sorry, but there isn’t another way to give the new systems a chance to work.

There are numerous other issues and a mountain of feedback to parse. There’s also a lot of moderation to get to. It’ll be got to.

Things are delayed, but if you’ve visited the site recently you already know that. Life intrudes, but things will get moving again sooner than later.

We will be soon trying out a new dividend system to help bring sanity back to the market (as if it was ever there to begin with). The new system will involve paying for dividends out of the market capitalization of a thot. This way dividends will be paid without injecting more money into the system. Along with this will be a new method for calculating shifts in trading price that will be more accurate and hopefully avoid the wild swings that have been all too common lately. There may be a change in the fortune cap as well.

As part of this transition, a manual market correction will likely occur. This means that trader’s holdings as well as their bank balances may be changed. I know that sucks, but it may be necessary to provide a meaningful tests of the new systems. I know you know the site is beta, so I won’t–wait I just did. This sort of thing is needed to ensure that the final launch version of the site works well.

A new commenting system has started on the site. You will now have to purchase your comments. The good news is that you get to set the price. Comments will now be displayed in order of their value. All users are able to increase the value of a comment by ‘Buying In’ to it. And yes, users can decrease a comment’s value by ‘Buying Out’. If a comment is completely bought out, it will be removed from the board.

A couple of changes have also been made to the account management page. You will now see a ‘Messages’ section at the top. Here you can view messages from the system regarding your comments and thots. For example, when a user buys in or out of one of your comments, you will receive a notice here. If one of your thot’s is de-listed, you will receive a note about it. There is also a comments summary at the bottom of the account page. There are a few other tweaks to the page, but I think they are self evident.

A few tweaks have been made to the thot detail pages as well. Most notably, there are now links to user pages for the thot originator and manager. At the moment these user pages merely consist of a list of thots that the user manages. In time this page will develop in to much more, however, as we introduce profiles and other customizing options.

Within the next 48 hours we will be sweeping through the system and starting to enforce the new posting policy. Make changes to violating thots or pull your shares out now or you may lose them.

Also, at the moment we have stopped delisting thots just for trading at junk status ($0.01/share) This is because of a bug that is allowing frozen thots to reach that level which shouldn’t happen. Currently, only zero market-cap thots will be delisted automatically (once a day that is). Once the bug is corrected, junk thots will again be removed regularly.

Some updates are coming today, I’ll elaborate more later. BTW, someone set up a forum to discuss all things ThotMarket. There have been several calls for this sort of thing on the site. Something official might be added in the future, but until then perhaps folks would like to use this: http://xsorbit28.com/users5/thotforum/