Technological marvel or popularity poll?
Today I sent out my first ever evite. I would explain what evite is, but chances are if you know what a blog is (and you're reading one), you know what an evite is. Evite has gotten cooler and cooler over the years and you can now even use it as a casual central messaging board for people who want to throw some kind of party-thing at some place at some time. New features include the ability to ask your guests to bring something, ask your guests what date, time, or place they would like to have a party, and poll your guests about pretty much whatever you want. Amazingly, it's still free, probably because of the ads littering the sidebars.
So, one of the things I've always loved about evite is that you can see who's said they're coming, and who can't make it, etc. This is convenient for those responding and for the host, because no phone calls are necessary, nor is the effort of constructing an email -- you just click on your response and submit, typing a message if you'd like. For us children of the 70s and 80s, this is fantastic because it avoids the awkwardness of actual one-on-one contact. Just as email replaced phone calls, evite can replace email for this task.
But now I'm learning about the host features. For instance, as a host, you can see who your guests have invited. Fortunately, no one else can tell if you invited them or the friend invited them (which is good because it's bad enough if you forgot someone's email address and have to apologize to them -- it's worse if everyone gets to speculate whether you forgot or whether there's a tiff to gossip about). Another host feature: you can see who's viewed the evite and when.
So I can see when people have looked at the evite even though most of them haven't responded. For someone as attention-hungry as me, this is BRUTAL. "Please like me!" cries a low-self-esteem part of me. Instead, I get to wait and see people check back for the planned attendees to see if my party is cool enough.
But I'm cool! I promise!