Merit Exchange launches for testing!
By Alex Zorach, February 2nd, 2009
Merit Exchange launches for testing today. We are testing with a limited group of people--people who want to take an active role in using the site, fiddling with it, and giving ample feedback on the features and user interface.
During the testing period we will continue to sign more people up, but very gradually and at a carefully controlled pace so that we are able to fix bugs as quickly as they are discovered and add new features within a reasonable time of them being requested or needed.
In exchange for their help in testing, these users will receive the initial issuing of merits. Although we encourage users to think critically about merits and set their own prices and valuations in merits, initially, as a reference we recommend a rate of 37 cents to one merit, or 2.7 merits to one dollar. This unusual multiple was picked to make the valuations of merits psychologically distinct from valuation in dollars so that people will find it easier to think of valuation in merits independently from dollars. It was also picked to give a reasonably small denomination of merits so that even very small transactions could be kept in integer multiples of merits.
When there is a genuine consensus that Merit Exchange has become stable enough to launch to a broader audience, we will launch by allowing all testers to invite new users.