New RSVP options on

When we launched, we took a stance on public vs. private RSVP. I wrote a detailed post about how we think private RSVP is better for the host, and that RSVP shouldn’t be a public exhibition.

Well, it’s time to come clean: this was a calculated risk to get the conversation started about the whole notion of public RSVP. A lot has been written on the subject. I personally don’t like public RSVPs (I’m not a fan of coming up with a witty comment for all to see). We wanted to stir the pot– and hear people’s viewpoints about online RSVP.

Boy did we ever get some passionate responses. Here’s one of my favorite emails we got shortly after we launched in January: “Are you (@#)& kidding me? You guys are idiots. How can you not show the guest list? Surely this can’t be very hard. This is a big, big miss.”

When I got this email I realized that we had succeeded: people really care about RSVP options. We were successful in stirring the pot– from the Wall Street Journal to CNET to O’Reilly, they all covered our design choice. Clearly it is an issue that matters to many.

The reality is that we believe that great software should provide the most flexibility in a simple to use interface. Sometimes you have to take a calculated risk to get the conversation started. So with that said, now allows you to choose RSVP options. We think we have the most flexible RSVP options: you can change them at any time and the updates will happen in real-time.


So now that we have options, which way do you prefer? Would love to hear your thoughts.


3 Responses to New RSVP options on

  1. Daniel says:

    I’m planning a private school reunion in the summer of 2008 and would love to use myPunchBowl, but the RSVP options are an issue. My event will a) be over a year from now and b) require people to travel from all around the world and having only a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ option means that people who can’t commit immediately will probably not respond. I really wish the RSVP form gave the options of ‘probably’ and ‘probably not.’ That way I could at least get an idea of the attendees before people necessarily commit one way or the other.

  2. Lisa says:

    I’m confused on the RSVP options. My invitation does not seem to have any options other than show or not show. How do I get the more “robust” version you have posted on the blog above?

  3. […] is better for hosts. Using this mantra, these decisions become easier. Here’s an example: our RSVP options are all based on helping the host look good. There are other ways to implement these RSVP features […]

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