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the ballet of beta

Practicing.  It is astounding how much of life is about practice.  I guess all of it really.  Perfection?  Not sure.  I think I breathe perfectly, then find out I am breathing too shallowly.  I think I walk perfectly, then find out I list towards one side.  So even those things which I have done forever are not perfected yet.


I was on the phone the other day talking with someone (who shall remain nameless but her name starts with “D”) about the frustrating learning curve involved in using computers.  It does seem that the promise of the computer is Instantaneity.   


In other words: The Big Now.  Presto Done. 


Then the reality of the learning curve takes hold and I want to throw the machine into the swimming pool (a los angeles impulse).


Patience is the quality that comes to mind.  Patience and practice.  The two P’s.  Like poverty and prosperity; or purpose and porpoise.  Neither patience nor practice are big on my list.  I am erratic and frenzied – I tend toward dabbling and brainstorming.


It brings me to the drawings.  I made them while waiting in the Waiting Room at the doctor’s office.  I drew them with my sketch book partially inside my purse so no one would see.  People feel invaded if you sit there drawing them – even if it is only their shoe.  Did you know that Van Gogh used to have his sketch book in his pocket and he would draw blind?  I wonder if that is true or just a romantic story…


Anyway, the one-leg drawing reminds me of my crowd when I was young.  They all took ballet; I took piano.  Announcing our practice schedule was common.  We all had to practice.  I envied them because it seemed as though they got to practice together and I had to practice alone.  Thus began my hatred of practicing (time to let go).


But the real reason I find it difficult to accept this basic principle in life is because I am anxious about, and for, The End.  I cannot relax into the process of practicing easily.  I have to get my attention off the finish line and into the experience.  The quality that comes to mind is wonder.  Wonder and wisdom.  The two W’s.  Like weeping and wailing, or widget and wicket.


So with artslant there is a thing called beta - you'll see our beta icon next to our logo.  It relates to all of this.


Artslant Beta

Our techie told me that beta, in software release, is when a product is given to a group for testing.  The features are complete and debugging starts.  It used to be done in private with non-disclosure agreements and all of that.  Now there are public betas where products are released for testing by the public.  Artslant is in public beta.


The Beauty of Beta

I was talking to a gallery owner last night (who shall remain nameless but his name starts with “D”) and he said “the beauty of beta is that you can get feedback from the community and make changes based on their experience.”  Actually, he was talking about the learning curve in artslant.  There really is a lot to learn and we need to make it easy and accessible.



We’ve created some tools in artslant to help with the learning curve.  One is called, surprisingly, Help.  It is on the top right of our Banner.  Click there and you can find all sorts of explanations.


Then there are the Our Slant blog articles with tips and tricks.  If you go to the bottom of this article and click on artslant founders you will get to our spotlight page where you can access our blog.  Or you can go to About on the bottom of each page, and link to our spotlight from there.  The Our Slant articles have lots of helpful hints.


And last but not least, send us emails and we will be sure to respond.


Perpetual Beta

With web 2.0, another morph on the beta process is taking place:  Perpetual Beta.  The idea is that it is never done.  The suggestion box remains open and active.  Everyone gets to participate in making it better forever.  What a beautiful world!  No end goal, no finish line, no anxiety.  It is just one long practice session – playing.


That’s it for now.  Happy playing. - georgia


Posted by ArtSlant Team on 3/17/07 | tags: beta perpetual-beta help tips learning-curve

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