MyPunchBowl gets an update, solves problem of publicly viewable RSVPs.
Josh LowensohnFormer Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
MyPunchBowl, the party planning service I covered in January, has added some neat new features, including publicly viewable RSVPs--one of the few things I griped about. The service has also added YouTube integration to let party goers share videos of the event.
Like competitor Evite, MyPunchBowl's new RSVP options let you see who has been invited, along with whether or not they're coming. You can also turn the visibility of the party's guest list on and off at any time, which is a nice touch if people start nagging you about wanting to see who's coming, or attracting party goers who seek certain company.
The YouTube integration is fairly straightforward. Users just need to paste an embed code from any YouTube video and it will show up in a gallery similar to the picture gallery. Clicking on a thumbnail drops down a video player without taking you out of the site, which is a nice touch.
Another neat new feature is the Google map on the front page of MyPunchBowl that shows the last 100 parties planned (except for surprise parties of course). You can click on the map markers to check out the title, and even zoom in to see where it's happening, although as MyPunchBowl creator Matt Douglastold me, not "too far" to preserve user privacy.
There's still not a way to theme an invitation beyond the color and picture, but in hindsight, full-on themes seem a little gimmicky. When all is said and done, a party invitation should tell you the "who, what, when, and where," and be easy to access, which MyPunchBowl handles very well.