Written by elitz

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

EVite Inc. threw its hat firmly into the social networking ring this week, announcing new features for its venerable electronic invitation web site aimed at further engaging invitees. Termed "dislike", the new feature allows a user to "dislike" other invitees and conditionally accept evites, effectively providing a means for an invitee to say "I'll come if Person x doesn't come". Dislikes can be public or private and can be made anonymously or signed. Anonymous dislikes provides an opportunity to demonstrate your distaste for someone without revealing your identity. Dislikes also trigger email notifications. Here's a sneak preview of a "dislike" email I received during beta testing:

Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2011 08:49:01 -0500
Subject: You have been "Disliked"
From: info@evite.com
To: Elliot@hatemail.com

Dear Elliot:

Regarding the evite for "Dave's Party", you have been "disliked" by another invitee. (They have chosen to stay anonymous). They have accepted the evite conditioned on your decision not to attend the event. You have been "disliked" by a total of 3 people to-date, 2 of which have made their attendance conditional on your non-attendance. Thanks for using Evite and we hope you enjoy yourself at "Dave's Party".

Evite has gone one step further, using proprietary artificial intelligence to generate "unvites". Here's how they work. If enough invitees dislike an individual and condition their attendance, it triggers an "unvite". Here's a preview of an automated "unvite" I received during beta testing:

Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2011 08:49:01 -0500
Subject: Evite Unvite Notification
From: info@mailva.evite.com
To: elliot@hatemail.com
Dear Elliot:
Regarding the evite for "Dave's Party", you have been "unvited" due to 4 or more invitees "disliking" you. The invitees who "disliked" you are:
1. Anonymous
2. Anonymous
3. Anonymous
4. Anonymous
We're sorry you won't be attending "Dave's Party", but we look forward to seeing you at future events. You'll be delighted to know that your unvite has enabled at least four others to attend the event. If you'd like to review a complete history of your "dislike" and "unvite" records, please click here. Rest assured, we keep this information private and will only share it when it represents a significant financial opportunity for our company. May we suggest our 24 hour behavioral therapy services ? Our trained certified psychologists can help you better understand the root causes of your "unvites". We guarantee fewer "unvites" after just six months of treatment or we'll refund a tiny fraction of your fees. Just click here for a free online consultation.

I found the new evite site engaging and provocative. The new features help create emotional bonds between members of your guest list before your event even takes place. Through the "dislike" and "unvite" features, natural selection plays itself out at the expense of just a few disgraced guests, resulting in a streamlined guest list, a less costly and more cordial event. My counseling went very well too. (I'm glad to report I am again on speaking terms with my mom and call her 8 to 10 times a day.)

Facebook may dominate the "like", but Evite can now claim the "dislike" as its own. As to whether they can build their business based on dislike and social disgrace, that is yet to be seen. Personally, I think they may have just stumbled onto the next big thing. I can definitely say that so far, I definitely "like" what i see.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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