With so many fun things to do on Renkoo, sometimes it’s easy to forget about the basics of your account. Today we’ve added an Actions widget to the top left of your Dashboard that helps you get those preferences in order. Even better, each action opens in an overlay within the Dashboard, allowing quick updates, no page refresh, and low carbs. Now that’s refreshment!

Here’s just some of the fun you can have with those actions: change your Renkoo skin, add another email address to your account, even add IM or SMS notifications. It’s all within easy reach.

Ahhh yes, we’ve saved the best update for last. By popular demand, you can now choose among our fun-loving Renkoo mascots for your buddy icon. Thanks to our Actions widget, we now have a home for the Change Your Buddy Icon feature.

With just a couple of clicks you can select from a veritable plethora of avatar happiness. Choose from four exciting categories: Plays on Land, Flies in the Sky, Swims in the Sea, and Odds and Ends (mostly robots for now). It’s time to get personalized!

One of my favorite parts of Renkoo is our social event type icons. They’re cute and shiny little pictures of the event you’re planning, from a plate of bacon and eggs for breakfast, to the sparkly disco ball for dancing. And while we had quite a few icons to start with, we know that Renkoo users plan lots of diverse social activities. Now, we’ve added another handful of social event icons, so that you can choose a more specific social event type, and you’re not stuck using other. Here’s a list of the new icons (and if you’re feeling motivated to try them, click the picture to plan that type of event):

  • Tea There’s nothing quite like having afternoon tea with your close friends, complete with the ubiquitous cucumber sandwiches and delightful French pastries.
  • Wine Tasting Ah, how could we call ourselves Northern Californians, if we didn’t have our beloved wine?
  • Brunch My own personal favorite meal – where else can you get lobster sauteed into your scrambled eggs?
  • Dessert We came up with this one when we all wanted to go out for gelato, but didn’t quite have the right icon. Now, we have it, and we can go out for gelato or cheesecake or key lime pie or…(you get the picture!)
  • Book Club Fine literature, great conversation, interesting people – what more could you ask for?
  • Knitting Don’t you know knitting’s not just for grandmothers and expectant mothers anymore? With all sorts of fun yarn and fashion-forward patterns, it’s been extremely popular recently. What could be more satisfying than wearing a custom creation that you made yourself?
  • Political The 2008 elections will be here sooner than you know. Until then, there are plenty of conventions, fundraisers, petitions, and other ways to make your voice heard. Take action, call your friends to participate, and don’t miss out on the democratic process.
  • Museum You know, we had an icon for an art museum/art gallery outing, but not for a more general museum – the kind with dinosaurs’ bones and exhibitions on ancient civilizations. Now we do, so you can learn as much about T-Rexes or ancient Rome as you want!
  • Lecture Sometimes, there’s a speaker that simply can’t be missed. Whether it’s your favorite actor, artist, author, professor, CEO, or scientist, plan the event with Renkoo!

Lots more are in the works, so stay tuned. Do you have a favorite social event type that we don’t have yet? Contact us and we’ll see what we can do. In the meantime, enjoy the new icons!

When you go to your Invites list today, you’ll notice something looks a little, well, absent. For starters, you’ll notice that only upcoming events will appear in My Invites. But where did your old invites go?

Today we’ve launched a much ballyhooed feature called Remember that helps you relive the good times of events that have already taken place. Think of it as your post-event forum where you and other guests can reconnect, share memories, post URLs to photos, and view the event details. It’s a great place to post lost and found items too.

To access your Remember list go to (you guessed it) our new navigation and click Events: Remember. All your old events will appear here listed in reverse chronological order. You might notice that some events that you deleted in the past will appear here too. If you no longer want to remember an event, simply click the ‘X’ button, just like your My Invites page.

The Remember page contains all the information you need to reconnect with other guests. All the event details will be present including an area to post comments for all the guests and host to see. Just like the comments field on Profiles and Place pages, you can add URLs and some limited HTML formatting such as <b> bold and <i> italic. This is a great place to add links to photos of your event, movies, and blog posts. Even better, if your event took place at a public place, we provide an easy way to add the place as a Keeper.

Attention hosts! When you plan an event, you’ll now see a “Don’t create a Remember” check box above the Send Invite button. Only check this box if you don’t want a Remember page created after your event takes place. If you don’t check the box, we will send an email to you and your guests when the Remember page is ready for viewing. There’s even a place for you to leave a note thanking your guests.

Now, go get your Remember on!

Get ready for a fun treat when you log in to Renkoo. We’ve just added a brand spankin’ new dashboard to keep you up to date on everything happening in your Renkoo world.

The Dashboard keeps you informed on all recent changes that have taken place across the site and in your sphere of influence. A ‘Recent Activity’ section includes comments added to your profile and comments you’ve posted to places and public profiles. We even threw in your recent Keepers to boot! Just like your profile, this whole section is also available as a handy dandy RSS feed.

Renkoo Dashboard

In the coming weeks we’ll be releasing plenty of new features on your dashboard; and don’t forget, we’re always taking requests.

In related news, Renkoo is now organized in four areas: Me, Events, Places, and Fun.

Renkoo New Navigation

At last, a quick way to navigate to your favorite Renkoo services and find new ones that were previously a challenge to find. Give it a try and, who knows, maybe you’ll come up with an excuse to use our Place Search, quickly find a place for lunch, or join the thousands who have already downloaded our new Firefox Toolbar. Seriously, who knew navigation could be so entertaining?

We’ve all had this problem: Where do we want to go for lunch? Well, now with Renkoo’s This Week in Lunch feature, you can easily search for a place in your area. You simply enter in your ZIP code or a city/state (or leave it blank for a completely random place), decide whether or not you’d like to see the fun animation or hear the delightful sounds, and hit “Find Lunch”!

Lunch

At the end of the animation, This Week in Lunch will have selected a place for you, and it’ll also show you some additional information, such as what others have tagged the place with, as well as More Info and Plan an Event links.

Lunch

If you don’t like the place that you were given, just search again. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can always search for a place and add it to Renkoo. Remember, anyone can use This Week in Lunch or search for a place, but you have to be registered and logged in to add a place.

Keeping tabs of all the places you love to visit can be a pretty daunting task. Fortunately, Renkoo provides the ability to Keeper your favorite places and have easy access to them on your profile or when planning an event.

To make your Keeper list even better, we’ve created a separate Keepers page, displaying all of your favorite places on one side and mashed them up with a Google Map on the other. It’s like peanut butter and chocolate on a national scale. We’ve even added a handy RSS feed that allows your friends to keep track of the places you’re adding to your list. After all, your love of a good beer shouldn’t be a secret!

To get to the Keepers page, simply go to the Keepers section of a profile and click the See All Keepers link.

You can zoom in on the map using the traditional map navigation or click the Zoom button and highlight an area you want to zoom in to. To view details about a place, just click the heart icon. Now your Keepers don’t have to be bound by geography. Go on, find some new places and get your Keeper mojo workin’!

As many of you already know, tags are a great way to categorize content in a way that’s meaningful to you.

Today we’ve added tags to our place pages, giving Renkoo users the ability to add unique, searchable information. Know the place has a patio or outdoor dining? Add it. How about “open late” or “cash only”? Great! Clicking a tag brings up a search results page where you can refine your result even further. Don’t forget, the more tags you add, the better the results will be for everyone.  

To add a tag on a place page, simply click the conveniently named “Add tags” link. Separate your tags with spaces and, for mulitple word tags, use quotes. For example, we just tagged Erawan Thai Restaurant, with the tags:

lunch restaurant thai curry “outdoor dining”

Tag on.