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Summary:

MingleNow, a web platform for planning social outings, is formally launching Tuesday. The site, made by marketing company Blue Lithium, has been open for a while, and we’ve taken it for a spin or two. We like the hook, which is to connect people around the […]

MingleNow, a web platform for planning social outings, is formally launching Tuesday. The site, made by marketing company Blue Lithium, has been open for a while, and we’ve taken it for a spin or two. We like the hook, which is to connect people around the real-world places they hang out, but we’re wondering how the product will possibly cut through the clutter.

MingleNow project lead Krishna Subramanian tried to allay our concerns in an email exchange Monday night. “MingleNow helps you [figure out where all your groups of friends are hanging out] by helping you plan your offline social life with your friends online – similar to creating a MyYahoo for your social calendar,” he said. “It’s like MingleNow is like a CitySearch meets eVite meets true.com.” Subramanian promises extensive mobile integration in upcoming releases.

We have to say we’re not blown away by the brilliance of his explanation, but we still hope one of these social planning sites takes off. If it’s MingleNow, great. We recently wrote about the debut of event search on Google Calendar, noting this posed an additional challenge for the many startups in the space. Well, the situation has only gotten more extreme since then.

Here’s a list of all of the new event-oriented startups we’ve taken note of in the last few weeks.

  • ILCU: based in Israel; comes highly recommended; site marketing copy tries way too hard
  • PlanJam: focused on date planning; primarily in Los Angeles area
  • Vibely: find venues and events; see writeup on Mashable
  • BusyTonight: event listings; boasts “proprietary crawling and extraction technology” that has turned up more than 500,000 events
  • Zoodango: plan and attend events with other professionals; teaming up with The Apprentice

With such a bountiful variety of choices… I think I’ll stay home and watch a DVD.

  1. good grief, the frightfully un-trendy my yahoo! being used as a reference point for something so achingly trendy!?

    so, maybe the portal isn’t dead, just yet?

    phew.

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  2. How could your not mention heyletsgo.com? I met with them a while back, Boston-based, MIT’ers, kicked butt at DEMOfall.

    The Zoodango CEO is slated to be on the next season of The Apprentice. Guess he won’t have much time to run the company while he’s selling hot dogs in Times Square.

    ILCU and PlanJam feel like the same site?

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  3. Dave,

    Sorry, last night I didn’t feel up to rehashing the whole list of known competitors again.

    Previous coverage of heyletsgo (from DEMO):

    http://gigaom.com/2006/09/26/demo-day-one-the-post-game-show/

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  4. Hey you missed us too :-) (http://planyp.us), although in all fairness we’re not actually focused so much on events as the planning process itself…like talking about the event, suggesting and voting on where and when to go, and so on. Planypus is a fully democratic planning site where all participants can help make the plans happen.

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  5. Hi Liz, thank you for the mention here on GigaOM! I love this blog and to be listed here with those quality companies is really exciting. Please feel free to send us any feedback concerning Vibely. Cheers!

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  6. minglenow launches…

    I’ve been using the site to get ideas on new places to check out (mostly restaurants and bars so far). With so many restaurants in New York, it’s cool to be able to see what other people like; especially, people that you’re connected with in some wa…

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  7. Vibely totally ripped off Flagr’s look-n-feel

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  8. I’m sorry, I don’t get it. You can’t even submit events on minglenow. How are you supposed to mingle without being able to make plans with your friends?

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  9. Sounds like minglenow is going to advertise events to the users on the site and then they can come and join. What about planning actual get togethers with your friends independent of a corporate sponsored event?

    I’ve been clicking around the site…0 events for chicago. So until some corporate sponsors come on there I can’t make plans with my friends? Boo!

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  10. How are PlanJam and ILCU the same…?

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