Many folks might have experienced this at one time or another in high school or later on in college. That awkward time you had someone with whom you weren't really friends sign your yearbook. The result was usually the wonderfully vague "have a great summer!" written as speedily as possible. You might have even written the phrase yourself.
Later in life, this comes back to haunt us all, when co-workers we might not know very well get a group card for leaving, getting married, having children, etc. A virtual equivalent to such a card called SquidNote manages to emulate the real thing with character and ease. Despite my general dislike of virtual greeting cards, SquidNote makes the entire experience rather enjoyable. (Editors' note: Since this was published, the company has renamed itself as GroupCard.)
Much like Evite, MyPunchBowl, and others, setting up a SquidNote is a lot like setting up a party invitation. You can skin the card in a pretty wide variety of classic greeting card-like themes or simply build your own. When you're done, you simply send it out en masse for others to sign.
Unlike real-life cards, the burden of passing it on to someone else when you're through has been removed from the equation. Instead, you simply get to plug in contacts from your Outlook directory, Facebook, or various popular Web mail services. Both the creator and recipients can invite people to sign it, which means the creator doesn't always need to know everyone.
In addition to group invites, the service also allows for group gifting. It's linked with Amazon.com to let members add together money in one big pool, in case you would like to avoid walking around, trying to wrangle up cash. It's a nice touch.
Already, there have been a few high-profile SquidNotes, including one for late-night talk show host Conan O'Brien, as well as one for Presidential hopeful John Edwards shortly after he ducked out of the race. While the group card will likely never truly die out, SquidNote makes a strong replacement.
Note: Users of Apple's Safari browser might experience some page-loading errors using the service. We're told that the team is looking into this.