In an old post I kind of thought out loud about whether Evite was broken or stale. The verdict at the time was that it is just stale and probably doesn’t reach the point of qualifying as being broken.
I heard that Socializr finally opened up open signups and went and checked it out. After going through the registration process and tinkering around with it for a few minutes, I did not get a strong sense for the differences between Socializr and Evite. A lot of the theme designs look very Evite-esque, as does the basic layout of the invitation. They do have a few features that I think are useful, primarily the ability to import friends and contacts from other services, but I walked away from the gamma scratching my head as to why I should adopt this now in lieu of sticking with the “devil I know” in Evite. If Renkoo and others might have strayed a bit too far in offering users some new ways to organize events, the Socializr gamma feels like they stayed a bit too close to the existing Evite model.
There are two things I think might help this service get more users. This is free unsolicited advice, so take it for what it’s worth:
1. Get rid of all of the prompts for me to add/import friends, invite people, etc. when I am just trying to complete the registration process. I am sure you’re looking for viral growth and all, but let me at least set up an account and get started before you bombard me with requests to invite others or import my contacts/friends from other services. I found myself clicking the “Skip this Step” button a lot during the process. There is probably a better time in the process to hit me with this marketing message.
2. Help me as a gamma user understand why I should use this service instead of Evite. I am sure that conventional marketing wisdom might suggest you not focus on the delta between your service and Evite, but let’s be realistic – for better or worse, Evite is the most commonly used tool to accomplish what Socializr wants to do so why not just be up front with users about the problems you’re solving? That would have helped me as a beta user.
Looking forward to see what these folks do as they move from gamma to beta to alpha.