MingleNow and Its Many, Many Competitors

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.

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