Mypunchbowl.com, not that much punch

February 16th, 2007 at 12:00 am
 


Every now and then, as I browse and read stuff on the internet I encounter websites that, in my opinion, offer products and services that are too simple, ordinary and weird. With this in mind, it makes me onder. How ? Will it receive considerable support from the online community? How aggressive is its target market? These are some of the questions I ask myself whenever I encounter new startups, unique sites, very ugly ones, or those totally useless websites.

Take for example MyPunchbowl.com , a website that provides a comprehensive planning system for home parties. The site is well built with a satisfactory design. The website has an easy user interface and is in Ruby on Rails and is also equipped with AJAX technology. Other features of the site include the ability to send out party invites as well as allow events to be scheduled and calendared. Put it simply, the website is your one-stop shop that will help you organize a party event.

The question though is if the website has an actual market base. As a user, will you spend that much time online just for planning a party event? I know I won't. But that's just me. Also, how many big parties are you planning to organize in a month that you will be needing the services of such a party organizer?

According to Alexa's traffic ranking, MyPunchbowl.com has a current rank of 171,429. The website was launched last January, so we can't get a very conclusive trends analysis from two month's worth of data. Nevertheless, it seems, based on Alexa ranking, that the website started off slowly with site visitors peaking in mid January and early February.

Looking at MyPunchbowl's features more closely, we see that aside from picking a date and sending out invitations, you can also use the website to choose catering and entertainment services. The site also provides an easy way of purchasing party supplies by having links to such sites. MyPunchbowl has a Google map locator as well which helps you find party stores in your area.

After taking a look at most of the website's features (and after creating my own MyPunchbowl party event), it seems the website is indeed quite useful for those who want to organize their party events online. And it seems that my opinion regarding these kinds of websites is not very common. I came to that assumption after finding out that MyPunchbowl.com already has a couple of established competitors, among them Evite.com and iparty.com. Moreover, according to some studies, party supplies is actually a billion dollar industry. It was reported that people spent around $10.2 billion in party supplies last year.