Evite vs. Upcoming.Org

Last year in February, I was bothered by how unfortunate Friendster had become, and I mentioned somewhere in there that they (and other social networking sites) needed to suck in functionality like evite, where you can send out party invitations to friends and get RSVPs online, be able to see who is and isn’t coming to an event.

I tend to use evite for all my party invitations, and it’s big with my friends as well. I like the RSVP features of it, especially, and that it’s fairly easy to put together an invitation. I also like that it creates a map to your location, so you don’t have to send out directions to everyone.

In Austin for SXSW, lots of the parties and events were planned using upcoming.org, which is an events planning site that’s pretty slick and interesting. It has a clean, easy to use interface (which is better than evite – evite is a little clunky to maneuver, slow loading, and way too hallmarky). It’s most obvious focus is as spot for announcing big public events. There are a few listed for Indianapolis, but I don’t think it’s taken off here they way it has in bigger cities. Austin seems to be very plugged into upcoming.org, as are cities in California and New York. Once you’re logged in and profiled on Upcoming.org, it gives you a list of public events that are going on near your zip code, which is cool.

The big difference between evite and upcoming.org is that evite has social networking capabilities – you can add people you know as friends, look at the events they’re going to, etc. It’s not quite MySpace + Evite, but it’s somewhat that direction. Upcoming also has features that let you add events to your google calendar and ical, and their integration with maps is much better than evite. It also lets you tag events with key words, so that other people can search for them, which is dandy.

But you can also plan and send invitations to private, invite only events on upcoming.org, which I did this morning for my Colts Bonfire event.

It seemed pretty interesting, but I’m bothered that my only way of having contacts is if they’re also a part of upcoming.org. I can’t keep my address book there. The other thing that bugs me is that I can’t see a list of people I invited to the event; I can only see if people are planning to attend or are “watching” the event.

So I don’t know if upcoming is a replacement for evite, but it is interesting, and a bit more fun to use.

UPDATE: Upcoming.org has a suggestion box for new features, and I visited there to suggest the things I mentioned above, and found other people already had entered them, and I had the ability to give a “thumbs up” on their suggestion. COOL.

2019 UPDATE: I think Evite is still around, but upcoming seems to have fallen by the wayside. Facebook has taken over event planning to a large extent. And there is Eventbrite for scheduling things where tickets are required.

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I haven’t been in Friendster for a while, so I logged in a futzed around to see what they’ve upgraded lately. You know what’s stupid? Blogs on Friendster. That was really dumb addition, because the people who wanted a blog already had them set up outside of Friendster, where everyone can see them. No one wants to log into Friendster just to read a blog. What they should have done instead is set up more robust competition for Evite. That’s a feature that would actually made sense inside Friendster. You already have many of the people you want to invite to a gathering already connected. If you could create an invitation that would go to their e-mail and let you customize an invitation, like Evite does, they could have crushed evite. Kinda dumb.

I haven’t done the MySpace thing. I think I set up an account so I could read my friend Chi’s blog, but other than that, I have to much to do to keep track of social networks.

2019 update: I clearly was not predicting the rise of Facebook, was I? I had pieces of it – event planning, micro-blogging, social connection.

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Friendster Update

I had to delete Willy Wonka from my friends list, because he put 189,000 people in my personal network, and that was just too ridiculous to look through all the time. Now I’m just down to a manageable 989 real people who are actually friends or friends of friends, and who are people I might actually be able to meet.

Still, you are not on there. What’s up with that? My dog Spike is even on Friendster.

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Friendster Update

I now have 16,9903 people in my personal network. I’m sure this has something to do with the fact that Willy Wonka added me to his friends. Everyone is friends with Willy, because as Sammy says, he makes a groovy lemon pie.

2019 update: Ah, those halcyon days when social media was a toy we could play with and not a tool that would destroy democracy.

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