Are you boring?
By Mark Gibbs
I’ve written before about Web applications designed to make event organizing easy and not been too impressed with what’s available. Today’s Web application, Socializr is definitely the best service I’ve seen so far.
The service’s creators also have a sense of humor. The site’s tag line is “Are you boring?” and the home page bills the service as “gamma” rather than the usual “beta”
Socializr’s home page also has an ad that reads “Are you boring? Ask your Doctor about socializr (Socialafil HCL). Warning: Side effects may include exhaustion, excessive fun, loss of boredom, a profound feeling of connectedness, sore feet, hoarse voice, dizziness, and dry mouth.”
Socializr is free although the sign-up process offers three choices:
* Standard Membership - FREE!
* Substandard Membership - For people with low self-esteem (Free)
* Superior Membership - Same features as Standard, but somehow better ($1 million)
The sign-up process is powerful: You start by entering your basic details such as name, street address, and e-mail address then agree to the services terms. Socializr next asks for any other e-mail addresses you use then gives you the opportunity to upload your photo, import one from Friendster, MySpace, or Flickr, or snag one from a URL.
The next step attempts to find your presence on Friendster, MySpace, Flickr, and Yelp to add to your profile. Next you can add your contacts from Evite, Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, Gmail, Outlook, Outlook Express, or import a CSV file. You now have a Socializr account with its own URL.
On your Home page is your list of upcoming events and a button to create a new event. Socializr provides a selection of templates for different events types such as parties, going clubbing (gad, I feel old!), and so on, or you can create your own or modify an existing template.
You then provide the list of invitees and Socializr sends out invitations as HTML formatted e-mail. Recipients can accept or decline the invitation and Socializr tracks their responses. Invitees who are Socializr members can also follow the link in the invite to the event’s unique URL to browse the guest list.
Socializr manages to combine a lot in a reasonably straightforward interface, although there are areas where I feel some polishing would be useful. For example, there isn’t a link for the event owner to see the guest list unless they select Remove Guests.
But the range of features is impressive: You can IM directly from Socializr (AIM, Yahoo!, and MSN are supported), export to your Outlook calendar, and blog events to blogging services such Xanga, Blogger, Friendster, MySpace, and LiveJournal. You can set up friends who get automatically invited to any event you create and you can add photos to a personal gallery
Organizations are also supported and they can manage their events with non-Socializr members while Socializr users can subscribe to the organization’s stream of events. Each organization has an Organization Page that includes an RSS feed, and Flash widgets are available to be embedded on Friendster or MySpace. Organizations can also send mobile text message blasts to invitees and subscribers.
It appears that Socializr’s business model is advertising based but, for whatever reason, most of the ad slots are just place holders. Socializr is promising a REST-based API as “coming soon.”
Socializr is definitely a very cool idea. I just used it to invite my family members to dinner next Sunday and within 15 minutes of creating the event and sending it I had three confirmations. Very cool. I suspect I shall be using this service a lot more.
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