Tagged With invitations

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With the internet at our disposal, invitations are no longer a strictly a signed, sealed, and delivered affair. Here's a look at the most popular online invitation services Lifehacker readers use to create and coordinate their party invitations.

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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Your friend just messaged you about the coolest new webapp, so you head over to sign up and ... "We're in private beta at the moment." If you strike out with invite-sharing services like Invite Share, the Lifehack.org blog has a few recommendations on getting in without an open invite. One is so straightforward, it's likely overlooked in most cases:

Try to contact someone in the PR department, but anyone with the power to grant invites is good. Then simply offer to review the service if you can get in on the beta now. Have a specific site in mind — if you want to post the review to your blog, be able to mention your readership numbers. Otherwise consider lining up the opportunity to guest post on a larger blog.

From my own and friends' experiences, just writing about a service and its possibilities in comments or forums can end up scoring you an invite. How have you gotten in on a webapp, software program, or other beta list? Share your story in the comments.

Eight Tips To Get Into That Great Beta

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Invitastic is a cute little website which lets you create, send and manage invitations to events. It has fairly limited functionality at the moment, but a couple of nice features.

The invitations don't seem to be customisable - mine came as an email on a yellow background, which wouldn't have been my choice. I did like the fact that it embeds a link to Google Maps so your guests can look up a map of where your event is being held.

The site tracks RSVPs for you - you can see who's said yes, no or maybe, and who hasn't responded.  For Mac users, it offers the bonus of being able to download the event to your iCal (for you the host as well as your guests - the invitation comes with the event as an .ics (Ical) file.

The date format on the website is the confusing American style (11/20/2007) but the invitations themselves express dates as "November 22, 2007" which is much clearer for non-yankees. 

I assume they'll add templates to give some choice about how your invitations look - in the meantime it's a barebones WYSIWYG email invitation service, no more, no less.

UPDATE: Turns out that you can customise how the invitations appear online - I missed the two translucent arrows on either side of the invitation on the invitation creation screen which let you cycle through a range of different backgrounds. The email version always comes with a simple yellow background to avoid image display problems in email.  Thanks to Hillel from Jackson Fish Market (the people behind Invitastic) for getting in touch to clear that up! 

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Event organizer webapp Fasterplan creates collaborative "billboards" that help users hammer out the details of an upcoming event. Set up a Fasterplan billboard for your event and drag and drop widgets onto it—like polls ("Where should we eat afterwards?"), date finders ("When's good for you?"), images, and text notes. Get your event billboard's permalink and email it out to all your friends to answer the polls and plan your get-together. Check out a sample billboard to see Fasterplan in action.

fasterplan