Each day brings new entrants into the social planner space. Here's a quick recap of the key new entrant market positions:
Now let's add two more:
tying event invitations to charity donations -- InviteForGood
The host selects from a list of charities and dollar amounts for invitees to pledge in the gift registry section of the invitation. The early site is plain and could use more polish but the marketing position is unique. InviteForGood could tap the niche of fundraisers or socially active events.
customized invitations -- Koolvite
Koolvite's emphasis on personalized, creative invitations reminds me of Piczo's differentiation angle in the social networking space: give users the power to make homey personal statements. Of course, Evite does offer templates and opportunities to personalize but the templates are too polished and opportunities a bit constrained. Koolvite offers a powerful AJAXy drag and drop compositing tool that allows one to easily select a template, change the background and border, and insert text, images, effects snippets, and photos. Each item has a sliders and dialogs that it feel like a mini-Photoshop or Illustrator. It's obviously a big leap from Evite's templates but is it enough to get people to switch. A creative person must balance expressiveness against community -- will her friends be on the service or will adopting a new service leave uncertain the receipt of the invitation? An alternative tack would be to position the software as tool for creating Evite invitations, similar to the sites that catalogue and customize myspace codes for profiles. Yes it is a pain to insert codes, and it will be a pain to transfer the art into an Evite. People do it, however profiles are long-lived things whereas invitations expire after the party.
I've been beating up Evite -- I respond to Evite invitations so automatically that I am guilty of not bothering to check out the full feature set. I just looked and see that Evite has a rather powerful party planning section. While I have ideas for particular improvements, the presence of it makes me wonder how the likes of MyPunchbowl will gain traction against Evite's dominance if the giant already has that base covered.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Thursday, January 18th, 2007 and is filed under social planning.
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