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Posted at 10:48 AM ET, 11/18/2010

Holiday party-planning poll: Evite, or some other site?

By Rob Pegoraro

This happens every November: After months of inactivity, I start seeing multiple Evite invitations in my inbox. Then I dust off my own Evite account too.


I think I know why this happens: A lot of holiday gatherings recur every year. And if you're hosting the seventh annual [seasonal theme here] party and your circle of friends hasn't changed much since the sixth iteration of the event, the easiest way to tell your pals about will be to duplicate the invitation you created last year on Evite. You probably did the same thing last year, and the year before, and so on going all the way back to 2003--when Evite still counted as an innovative social-networking site.

Things have gotten a little better at Evite since I ranted about its "exasperating inertia" in 2007. It has a mobile-Web site, you can post invitations on Facebook and its interface has been redesigned (with the occasional hiccup).

But it remains fundamentally disconnected from your address book. A year ago, I would have expected Facebook--which doesn't have that issue and, with more than 500 million active users compared to Evite's 18 million, has almost 28 times the audience--to have stomped Evite into the dust. That hasn't happened, to judge from my own e-mail. Two reasons come to mind: There's always a few people you'd like to invite who aren't on Facebook, and we've all grown leery of centralizing even more of our social lives on that site.

(You've memorized the fact that Post Co. chairman Donald E. Graham sits on Facebook's board of directors, right? You should also know that the chief executive and chairman of Evite's parent company IAC, Barry Diller, sits on the Post Co.'s board.)

And Evite remains a nag--like when it asks you to fill out a profile after RSVPing to an event. No thanks, Evite; I am officially profiled out. I don't need yet another site asking me to upload a profile picture and list my hometown and interests.

Finally, Evite continues to have a problem communicating with its users. Its blog was last updated in August 2009, leaving just the occasional update on a customer-support page.

Yet I've got about six Evites on my calendar for next month. (I should have seven, but the host seems to have forgotten to put a current e-mail address on that invitation. FYI to all: Please take out of your Evite address book.)

Consider this post your invitation to take the poll below, then explain your choice in the comments--and, if you've got a recommendation to make for online invitation management, please share it there.

By Rob Pegoraro  | November 18, 2010; 10:48 AM ET
Categories:  Digital culture, Social media  
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I'm guilty of this. The only time I use it is inviting people to my holiday party. There are a few features Evite still has that Facebook does not that has kept me from switching, including being able to poll guests, and of course the handful of Facebook holdouts.

I considered switching this year, but think I'll probably end up using Evite yet again.

Posted by: greg421 | November 18, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I use anyvite. It's free, less intrusive with ads, better integrates with my gmail contact list, etc. Plus it has a very clean interface; evite pages always winds up looking like myspace or something designed by a teenager.

Posted by: misere | November 18, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I used to love Evite until the new redesign! ugh, talk about frustrating and taking a step backwards! Now I can't even view what my completed evite will be before I send it out. I HATE THAT!!! Plus, they try to throw "age appropriate" ads in there like I need that. My daughter's evite went out and people were asking me if she wanted hello kitty or was registered at Toys R Us. Ugh, ridiculous! #epicfail

Posted by: too_through | November 18, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I use GMail to send to a list.

Posted by: wiredog | November 18, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I use either or Gmail depending on my needs. Evite is dated and doesn't innovate and I can't believe so many people still use it when there are so many better alternatives.

Posted by: bubbamack | November 18, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

can't agree with 'too_through' enough. the "new" Evite is SO GOD AWFULLY UNUSABLE, it's beyond words. i want to throw my laptop out a window every time i have to use it.

events disappear from lists; you have to hunt for the link you want, and then click-thru three times to get to some place basic that you should be able to get to in one click; "new" evite and the old don't communicate - how epically stoopid is that?! NOTE TO EVITE: STOP ASKING ME TO FILL OUT A PROFILE!! Rob, methinks you give the new Evite WAY WAY WAY too much credit. but at least it LOOKS better. UGH. :-p

it's really too bad it's about the only thing of it's kind out there.

Posted by: TheBorg | November 18, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse for informal gatherings -- I think I may have heard about it in this column during a previous anti-evite rant.

I use good old-fashioned paper for real parties.

Posted by: rosepetals64 | November 19, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

I hate Evites, another site that requires me to register so they can collect more information. Not going to happen. I never respond through their site, I just contact the sender directly, usually by phone or email.

Posted by: momj47 | November 19, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

I use Punchbowl or Paperless Post.

Posted by: kerrysg | November 19, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Check out You can ask that your guests make a donation to your favorite charity rather than bringing gifts.

Posted by: Mikeg6 | November 19, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

EVITE has become unusable. It's been useful for a monthly lunch event until now.

The "new" beta Evite is horrible, but I'd been able to use the previous site. Now, when I click on the old Evite, the site automatically reverts to the new one.

The new Evite won't import my updated contact list and everything else is too glitchy to describe. They've turned Evite into a thoroughgoing mess, so I'll have to send invitations via regular email now.

Amazing how badly performing Evite has become!

Posted by: QuackingDuck | November 23, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

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