CircleUp describes itself as a "social-communication service." It's an e-mail and instant-messaging tool that allows users to send a single e-mail to a community and receive one, aggregated response rather than a flurry of incomplete or even tangential responses.
The Newport Beach, CA company is debuting here at Demo 07. It works like this: click that CircleUp toolbar embedded in your Outlook, AOL Instant Messenger or Yahoo Messenger window. Type in a question, choose how you would like to receive your answer from your community (examples: Who's bringing what to the potluck? What time works best for tomorrow's meeting?).
Your message is sent as an e-mail or IM from you to the community, with no registration required to answer back. The aggregated responses are returned to the questioner via an RSS feed.
CircleUp's sociability can be scaled, too. You can choose to keep your question confined to your intended closed community, or you can open it up to the larger group of CircleUp users. The toolbar is free and can be downloaded from desktop or browser widget.