Thursday, July 17, 2003

Bait? Meet Switch.

This email, received today, cracks me up:

Dear Evite-On-The-Go Users,

Due to our efforts to improve our most popular tools as well as grow our gallery of designs, Evite will no longer offer wireless services. Suspension of Evite-On-The-Go will take place July 22, 2003. Please make a note of it.

You can still access all of your event and calendaring information on your MyEvite homepage.

We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your continued support of our free service.

The Evite Team

I laughed out loud because of the misleading marketing speak in the opening sentence. That line, in effect, says, "We are no longer offering a used service, and somehow, taking it away makes Evite better." Ceasing the support of wireless services neither improves Evite's tool set nor increases the range of services they offer. It takes something away from customers. Something customers might use and appreciate.

That said, I also laughed at the closing sentence, which pairs the recognition that they're taking a service away from users -- while reminding them that it is, in fact, free, so what are you complaining about? Fair enough. I don't pay to use Evite, so you can scale it back all you want. Maybe you could remove the occasionally pesky @'s from your Evite URL's.

But this is particularly interesting because it strikes me that wireless services are on the rise writ large, not on the wane. And isn't Evite a possible tool to support moblogging and on-the-street mobilization of people using wireless devices for ad hoc events and gatherings? How can the company not see that potential?

Whatever. It's their free service.

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