According to Google, Voice users have been requesting to "share Google Voice with friends and family." To satisfy that desire, Google will now allow users to invite up to three friends to the service. The invite-a-friend feature is being added to accounts over the next few weeks, so not all users will have the option of inviting others immediately. According to the company, the "Invite a friend" link will appear on the left side … Read more
I recently used Evite to send invitations for a party at my house. Overall, I was pleased with the experience. The selection of invitation styles was huge. The invitee tracking tool was informative. But the site's user interface made it too complicated to send an invitation. Worse, Evite hasn't really embraced the social networking space--there's no Evite app on Facebook nor Twitter integration. And the closest it comes to going mobile is sending SMS invites and offering a mobile site.
So I set out to find some alternatives to Evite to see if they could provide a better service.
CircleUp Though it's not specifically designed to provide invitations and tracking, CircleUp does let you invite others to an event and track their attendance. The page detailing whether or not invitees will be attending the event is especially good. But CircleUp simply isn't as useful as Evite, nor as convenient.
Crusher I like Crusher. It's simple and clean. Creating invitations can take less than a minute. But if you're the type who wants to tweak an invitation to fit your needs, the site also has a CSS editor. You can add video, chat, photos, and much more. It's great for the Web geek and the Web novice alike. And it's better than Evite.
Enclude Unlike Evite, Enclude lets you send e-cards. But its invitation creation tool doesn't provide as many planning options as Evite's. And if you really care about the design of the invite, you'll find fewer cards on Enclude. I also wasn't impressed with its invitee tracking tool. Simply put, it's no Evite.
Facebook Most of the people who I would invite to a party are my friends on Facebook anyway, so creating an event and sending out an invitation through the social network is quite convenient. Creating an invitation in Facebook takes less than a minute. Everyone can see who will be attending the party. Attendance tallies are updated as soon as the invitee responds. If you don't need to invite too many people outside of your Facebook friends list, Facebook is a fine invitation tool. It's much simpler than Evite.
Invitastic Invitastic is ugly, too simple, and unable to compete on any level with Evite. That said, it might come in handy when you want to quickly send out an invite to a couple friends and you don't want all the extras Evite provides. But even in those circumstances, I'm hard-pressed to find a reason to use Invitastic instead of other simple services, like Zoji.… Read more
Play With Pictures takes one of the most essential image editing features and expands it into an entire program. It is not a photo editor, at least not in the mold of Photoshop. Play With Pictures takes the cut-and-paste feature and simplifies the process while building out supplementary features for creating online avatars, greetings cards, and other projects that require image mash-ups.
The interface presents a re-imagining of the image editing toolset, gearing users towards projects instead of stand-alone edits. The left nav toolbar even notes the steps needed to take a user from start to finish. Tools are categorized … Read more
InterActiveCorp's Evite might still be the biggest name in online invitations, but Martha Stewart has made her endorsement elsewhere.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia has partnered with and made an undisclosed investment in Pingg, a much smaller competitor.
The chief executive of New York-based Pingg, Lorien Gabel, spoke to CNET News a few months ago to make the case for his company as a more refined alternative to the clip art-friendly Evite, saying he hoped Pingg would be appropriate for "a whole segment of event types that people just (do) not want to use electronic invitations for," like … Read more
The official invite just popped up in our mailboxes for Apple's long-rumored October 14 press event in Cupertino, Calif. The big picture of a laptop and the headline, "The spotlight turns to notebooks," leaves us with a pretty clear idea of what Steve Jobs and company will be talking about. Not mentioned here is the most persistent rumor--that at least one of the new systems will hit a meltdown-friendly price of $800.
Here's the invite itself, for the curiosity seekers out there.
Web party invitation and management service MyPunchbowl on Tuesday relaunched with a new look. While mostly a new paint job, the big, new feature is the invitation designer, which has been renamed as a "studio."
Where the service's former system had users simply picking colors, pictures, and some ready-made templates, the results of using the new tool resembles a real life paper invitation. Users can still select things like the coloring and background, but there are new flourishes like colored ribbons, textured backgrounds, and various form factors that mimic proper card stock.
All of this amounts to … Read more
The Lightning add-on for the open-source e-mail client Thunderbird (for Windows and Mac) updates officially to Version 0.9, and Mozilla promises that it will be the last one before it's rolled into Thunderbird 3.0.
This update doesn't introduce quite as many new features as the last one did, but there are still plenty of major changes. Interface enhancements include a visual indicator for events that span multiple days, an overhaul of both the "minimonth" calendar in the upper left and the main day/week/multiweek/month calendar views, a progress indicator for when remote … Read more
Contour Venture Partners is the lead investor in Series A funding for Punchbowl Software, which is behind the event-planning and invitation site MyPunchbowl.
Total cash raised was $2.1 million; the other investors in the round include Intel Capital and eCoast Angels.
Previously, Framingham, Mass.-based Punchbowl Software had raised seed funding from Intel and eCoast.
MyPunchbowl's team said that the fruits of the Series A round will be visible soon, with new features and new hires on the way. But invitation start-ups are in a tough spot; IAC's Evite is as big as most of its smaller … Read more
Electronic wedding invitations aren't exactly Adam Lowe's cup of tea.
As host of the popular Modern Manners Guy podcast, Lowe attempts to marry--pun completely intended--the culture of traditional etiquette with a digital world that increasingly threatens to subvert its longstanding norms. And he admits up front that he thinks using the likes of Evite and MyPunchbowl for formal occasions is "a terrible idea" for the most part; except when difficult circumstances demand it, as was the case when he received a digital wedding invitation recently. There was an illness in the groom's family, and the … Read more
This afternoon TripSay, a travel site that's currently in private beta is opening up to a larger group of testers and launching a few new features. The service will help you figure out places you should go on your vacation based on a calculator that will narrow down the results based on your budget, lingual ability, and comfort zone for going off the beaten path. You can also plug in your interests, and add ratings of places you've already been.
All of this information is taken and mapped out for you while being combined with what other TripSay … Read more