Coordinatr turns small parties into small effort
Coordinatr takes a Twitter-like approach to party planning.
Coordinatr is a new events communication service that's been designed for creating spontaneous get-togethers among tight knit groups of friends. The setup is similar to MyPunchbowl and Crusher, with just a few form fields that need to be filled out to create an event. What makes the service particularly useful is its integration with high profile media sharing sites and a great mobile service that lets you send quick distributed messages to the rest of your party friends.
While MyPunchBowl was one of the first of these services to really embrace that people using these services share their party media elsewhere, Coordinatr takes the process a step further by giving everyone with access to the event page a special tag to use. Adding that tag to photos (on Flickr) and videos (on YouTube) will automatically add them to the community page without requiring anyone with administrative access to the event to have to link up content manually.
Besides media sharing (usually an afterthought when the hangover wears off), the core part of the service--inviting and adding friends, is all handled through Plaxo, which lets you plug in your e-mail credentials and nab contacts without having to create an invite in each e-mail service. Pretty standard stuff really, but Coordinatr is smart enough to let you create custom groups of friends from those contacts that you can send out quick invites en masse.
Those same people on your quick lists can also elect to sign up to a mobile notification service that lets you send out SMS notifications, be it a quick location change or other important information. If I were to go back in time to my high school days, I could see this being a helpful way alert the rest of my fellow partygoers if the cops had just shown up.
At first glance I was quick to dismiss Coordinatr as a late entrant to the events planning game, but it brings to the table a few handy features that innovate the space. Whether that's enough to push it into people's minds when they're planning events might be a stretch. I often run into a lot of resistance urging some of my friends to try out some of the newer events services we write about. Many are simply ingrained in old systems such as Evite, with too much fear to try some of the next generation planning services like Socializr, MyPunchbowl, and Crushr to avoid confusing their guests.
The best way going forward may simply be a convergence app for all of these events services, similar to what we've seen with tools like FriendFeed, Profileactic, et al. People want one place to view all this information, and there's still not a service that does it.