TechCrunch's Marshal Kirkpatrick covers CityCita. Marshall is unimpressed:
As far as I'm concerned, marketing of the service so far has not been good. In early outreach to bloggers, the company said in May that it was planning to launch with the following features: Flickr photo sets for each group (done, good), Box.net integration for file storage (not done, and will be Amazon S3 instead), Eventful and Google Base automated submission of events (not yet), hcal microformats for all events (later). If those features fall into place then I'll be more interested.
CityCita emphasizes that their groups can be classified by any term or tag determined by organizers, instead of being limited to a finite number of categories determined by the service. That's nice, but not a big deal. Tags may be the new hotness, but for mass adoption of an events system I imagine many people want a clear category tree. CityCita does have categories as well as tags.
Marshall hits on the big issue of not categorizing events. It's a catch 22. There are a million ways different events could be tagged. So, it makes sense in theory to allow the community to categorize events with keywords. However, for someone to feel comfortable attending an event, they need to know that others will be there. So, it makes sense to have some control over the categorization, so people find the events that will be attended.
Aneil Weber has some good feedback:
This seems like one of those sites where there is only room for one at the top right now. The key to entering a market in this situation is to pick one type of customer need and hit it as hard as possible. One concept for this type of thing would be to target things like little league, boy scouts, girl scouts, high school teams, or any other well-established group that has a need for a centrally organized online "discussion and meeting" board. Going for the whole gambit in this scenario might be difficult and I would generally recommend against this approach when there is a bigger player already taking the cake. This doesn't mean that you should only care about those groups; just make a product and site that is positioned strongly for one type of customer need.
Another point here is that it can be a silly game to try and defeat the "first to market" with a few fancy features. That's not the right idea when your competition has the benefit of a much larger user base and stronger brand. If those features are really nice, they can probably implement them anyhow. The main thing is to provide only those features that your ideal customer will need and do them well. This is one way to create loyalty and add some stickiness to your service. At the moment, I'm sinking CityCita because it seems like they are going for the exact same thing as MeetUp but with different pricing and a few different features. The pricing and features are not enough to convince me that they have any chance of gaining ground and until I see them change their pitch towards a specific part of the market I will expect to see them slowly go under.
Previous coverage of event related online companies.