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Yahoo Acquires Upcoming.org
October 5, 2005 9:20 AM   Subscribe

Yahoo Inc. Acquires Upcoming.org - a social event calendar to manage your events, share events with friends and family, and syndicate your calendar to your own site.
posted by webmeta (25 comments total)

 
Does this mean that Upcoming might work better and people will pay more attention to it in my community? The idea always seemed great, but the implementation less so...
posted by mikeh at 9:25 AM on October 5, 2005


Congrats waxy.
posted by eyeballkid at 9:27 AM on October 5, 2005


Previously.
posted by Mitheral at 9:29 AM on October 5, 2005


That earlier post was removed to metatalk due to all unrelated links to Blogger, mefi profiles, flickr etc. :-)
posted by webmeta at 10:34 AM on October 5, 2005


Actually, I chose to post it in MeTa instead of in the blue because I liked the idea of being able to congratulate Mefite Waxpancake and wanted to point out our successful alum without being newsfilterish or coming across as a fanboy or dare I say pepsiblueish. I figured the acquisition would get attention in the blue at some point. Feel free to disregard Mitheral's "previously."
posted by shoepal at 10:56 AM on October 5, 2005


That came off as a snark, it wasn't meant to be. I probably should have used Also.

Anyways here's hoping this works out for Upcoming better than the eGroups and Geocities buy outs. I must admit Yahoo has become a lot less heavy handed to their new aquisitions as of late.
posted by Mitheral at 11:01 AM on October 5, 2005


All the luck in the world to andy.
posted by zerolives at 11:24 AM on October 5, 2005


How much? Someone here must know...
posted by mrblondemang at 11:25 AM on October 5, 2005


Sweet:

> You guys are big corporate sellouts!

That's not really a question.

posted by dhartung at 11:39 AM on October 5, 2005


I suppose this is great news. At least it taught me that upcoming.org exists - never heard of it before. Thanks.
posted by Qubit at 11:40 AM on October 5, 2005


So when will the old upcoming.org users start protesting the sale to Yahoo?
posted by gyc at 12:26 PM on October 5, 2005


Well, I'm user #212 at upcoming.org - so I'll start:

It'll be interesting to see how this actually grows. Up until now upcoming has been a fairly small community. This means that the events have for the most part been germane and interesting. I've noticed a couple people started putting their birthdays as 'events' which is kinda neat.

You have to question how a site that deals in 'events' will avoid being flooded with promoters and the like. Is a Tony Robbins seminar an event? What about a Scientology seminar? As I said, so far, its been small and these issues havent really arisen to any extent. But, I think they've got a challenge ahead of them in terms of keeping it relevant and interesting.

A further thought: The friends and friends events aspect was introduced late but may end up becoming the most important part - I know of no other way of keeping "tabs" on what my very-light-touch acquiantances are up to or even having the chance to say "Hey! looks like so-and-so is going to the Sigur Ros concert. I want to go too." Now I have an excuse to contact them or call them up or just show up at the event and pay special attention that they might be there. Its a kind of moderated "stalking" since its all opt-in.
posted by vacapinta at 1:07 PM on October 5, 2005


Hey guys. I'm Leonard (old schooler's might remember me from the tag balancer I wrote for Matt - now that was a fun thread ;). I'm one of the Upcoming.org co-founders. And, since Andy's basking in the Web 2.0 press tour and Gordon doesn't have an account, I'm going to try to hit some of the points brought up.

mikeh - Yes, now that we can actually work full time on Upcoming, things should improve dramatically. We already have a bunch of really exciting things in the pipe from when we first started 'seriously' working on it in our spare time.

Our growth profile has already made a significant turn since that time, and the Yahoo! connection will only help. You can probably connect the points on what having access to large events databases might be able to do from a comprehensiveness perspective.

Mithereal - I think it's safe to say that this will be something completely different. We're incredibly excited with everyone at Y! that we've talked to, and there is so much great chemistry from both a vision and on a personal level with the Local team, that we think everyone wins here, especially end-users. We wouldn't have done the deal otherwise.

mrblondemang - Almost not worth addressing, but well, sinc you brought it up, beyond the three of us, our lawyers, and people at Yahoo!, all parties whom are legal bound not to disclose the terms of the deal...

gyc - in the "Flick Off" -> "Flick On" tradition, we've decided to pre-empt that and go straight to "Up-grading." Get it? "Up" and "grading." Seriously though, we're thinking very hard on this subject (and we have Stewart, Caterina, and the teams' experience to help us). If any Upcoming.org member has concerns, feel free to shoot us a line. We're going to try to make this as transparent as possible.

Vacapinta - relevance is definitely at the core of what makes Upcoming.org special. It's not just about capturing a bajillion events, it's about find the ones that you care about. We agree that it'll be a challenge keeping events relevant and interesting, but that's one of the challenges that keeps Upcoming.org relevant and interesting as a project.

On the friends and groups aspect, I think you are definitely hitting on a lot of very fundamental, and um fun areas. One thing that's been surprising about "social" software is how anti-septic and un-human most of it has been. For me, one of the best things about Upcoming.org is because of the way it intersects the physical and digital, the real and virtual, you can't avoid addressing that sort of "squishiness."

Hopefully I'm not taking this thread on a totally off the wall direction, but when you start looking at all of this, you realize with all this talk about "web 2.0" this or that, how little *anyone* has done advancing much less enabling fundamental, basic functionality and models.

Like I said on my blog post, having the resources, freedom, and the support to go off and turn this high-falutin' talk into something real that will help people. Well, that's exciting.
posted by lhl at 2:56 PM on October 5, 2005


Cool! I didn't mean to sound as negative as I did, I think I originally signed up for the site during a busy time and it was a little slow. I've been noticing more mentions lately and some features I've been wanting to take advantage of. I love the feeds and iCalendar exporting, but.. what about *importing*? There are a lot of cool things that could be done in that realm, especially if music venues and the like could preload concerts. I would hate if that gets too overused as a promotion technique, but it'd solve my laziness of entering details.
posted by mikeh at 3:03 PM on October 5, 2005


No worries Mike, we love hearing what keeps people from using the site. There are so many things we know that sucks right now (like event entry) and we have a lot of well organized ways to make things better, but until recently, just haven't had the wherewithal from a resource perpective.

There's a lot of low hanging fruit here that we can do to improve experience. Your comment also touches on what Vacapinta has been talking about. There's this balance between relevance and comprehensiveness. We have a plan, and I think you'll be seeing the foundation for some (we hope) very creative solutions.

Hope that doesn't come off as being super-secretive or anything either. We're all for transparency, but on the other hand, there's something nice about discovering a neat new feature.

It's like opening presents. :)
posted by lhl at 3:23 PM on October 5, 2005


I never thought it was popular enough to be bought. I joined up a while back, and I think there were 3 events for the entire state of CT.
posted by smackfu at 3:27 PM on October 5, 2005


lhl : Are you guys or Yahoo contributing to cross platform iCal support, i.e. Sunbird and the integration with Thunderbird?

Oh, congrats also.
posted by sien at 3:56 PM on October 5, 2005


sien, we're definitely open to it, but we haven't done any 'integration' work per se with Sunbird. We just output iCal for now. At some future point we may do some sort of syncing, but that would most likely go through a Y!Calendar gateway or something.

In a past life I did a lot of iCal related work and it's really a mess, so I'm more than happy for some other group to take the lead. Is there anything specific you'd want as far as Sunbird/Thunderbird integration goes or is more a are we Mozilla Foundation fans? (because, we definitely are, big time :)
posted by lhl at 4:10 PM on October 5, 2005


the idea is great... i am a little worried about what a broad yahoo audience will do to our local version of upcoming - perhaps it will improve it? or render it useless... just another version of citypages.com.
posted by specialk420 at 4:14 PM on October 5, 2005


lhl: The proposed Sunbird/Thunderbird integration looks pretty good, the only catch being that it has been proposed for a while and Sunbird doesn't seem to have many active developers. Sunbird is already very usable and I'm pretty happy with it. But being able to send invitations via Thunderbird would be very cool. Being able to subscribe to events diaries via upcoming (or iCalshare or whatever is just great.

The dream of having something like Googlemaps hooked up to an iCal feed and displayed on something like Konfabulator is just something that would be cool. Getting film times via that kinda setup and organising meeting friends would just be so neat.

It just seemed that getting good iCal support on win32 might be something that you guys would be into and that the announcement detailed above might have had something to do with you guys.

I really should get off my arse and try and do something to help Sunbird.
posted by sien at 4:38 PM on October 5, 2005


posted by lhl at 4:56 PM CST on October 5

Wow, no offense, but that entire post gave me a -TERRIBLE- 1999 dot.com (pre-bubble-bursting) bullshit speak flashback. I feel like I should have been reading that in a cyber café on an inflatable clear couch.

Still, humorous enthusiasm aside, best of luck to you. Just learn from history!, ;)
posted by Peter H at 9:07 PM on October 5, 2005


As an avid Upcoming user, I hope for the best.

The issue of it becoming filled with crap would have been breached even if it had stayed independent, and simply increased dramatically in size. That's my main concern, and seeing as it would be an inevitable issue, I'm glad they can work full time to try and make it persist as a useful app.

I'm looking forward to interface changes, feed improvements, and whatever they can cook up that they haven't had time to impliment. Kudos.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 9:08 PM on October 5, 2005


Peter, I think we all lived through 1999 and hopefully Bubble 2.0 avoids most of the pitfalls. (serious, they're talking about the Long Boom again. Hello McFly!?!?)

Now as far as dotcom flashbacks. Harsh dude. :) I'm erring on the side of caution on some of the deeper technical/philsophical stuff based on propriety, so it's bound to come of as disingenous and vacuous to a degree, but hopefully I'll find a better balance/comfort level so that I sound more '99 web (so cool) instead of '99 dotcom (so lame).
posted by lhl at 12:31 AM on October 6, 2005


Good luck on the iCalendar support, by the way. There are a lot of apps that respect the standard (Apple's iCal, Sunbird, several websites) but the holy grail is probably still getting Outlook to work correctly. I haven't messed with generating iCal files for a few years, but I remember MS's support was really screwed up, especially when it came to multiple time zones, adding more than one appointment at a time, and locations. Ugh.
posted by mikeh at 7:59 AM on October 6, 2005


this will do well

it is the obvious ideas that work well

i'm waiting for a personalised chat room - owned by a group to happen next
posted by room at 7:27 AM on October 7, 2005


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