home
h1. Why do event sites suck? p(meta). 11 September 2009 It is 2009 and I still really hate all the event finding sites that exist. I have tried very hard to use many of these sites to no avail. I can't find anything I'm interested in, often I know of an existing event, but it doesn't show up which makes me think that their databases are extremely inaccurate, and the user interfaces are crowded with too much stuff that I don't care about. The event sites are explicitly designed around location, meaning I should search for events based solely on what area am I at. This works for most cases, but there are several cases where I don't really care about the location. For example: rubyconf is a yearly weekend conference that changes its location every time. I don't care where it is, but I definitely want to go. Another example: a few months ago I started to do a lot more iphone development work, I was living in Boston during the time, I wanted to go to some iphone related conferences. I found out from lots of google searching that there was an iphone development conference coming up in a week at yahoo's headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA. I decided to go and I had a blast, but I would have had a hard time finding this event if I was using a location based event search, let alone if that event site even had the data pertaining to this event. The biggest event sites seem to be "upcoming.org":http://upcoming.org, "zvents.com":http://zvents.com, "eventful.com":http://eventful.com, "craigslist.org":http://craigslist.org, and "meetup.com":http://meetup.com On each of those sites, I tried searching for the events "startup school", "rubyconf", and "Burning Man." Only Burning Man returned any results at all, and none were related to events, but instead results for people's profiles. Meetup.com has lots events that I'm interested in, but they only store their own meetups and not all events. The part that is really frustrating to me about their site though is that they force me to receive emails for each group I join, so if I am want to follow a few different groups, then I receive lots of SPAM mail everyday. In regards to craigslist, when I view the events listings, a large portion of the listings are not even events, therefore it wastes my time. Eventful and zvents just have so much other non event related stuff that I am not interested in. Here is what I propose: * To solve the problem of inaccurate data, I think a spider should be employed that searches the web for events and adds them into the database. This along with allowing users to add and update data on the site will result in a more accurate picture of what events are going on. * A user should be able to choose categories that they are interested in, then when they come back to the site, they will see upcoming evens for those categories. * Events should have some kind of reputation/score system that is calculated per user. So for example, if I am interested in ruby, then I would see all the upcoming ruby events in my area, but if there was an upcoming huge ruby event (like rubyconf) coming up that was way out of my area, then I would still be presented information about this event. * There should be some kind of lightweight way to notify users of upcoming events so if there is an event that the user is likely interested in, then the site will email that user, but if the user has visited the site and already knows of these events, then they won't be notified via email. * There should be other ways to notify a user of upcoming events. Email is great as lowest common denominator, but personally I don't like receiving so many notifications via email because I have to manually delete each email. Other notification systems like twitter or facebook should be an option. * The user interface should be as simple as possible, I have no need to to see a list of restaurants nearby the event or movies playing nearby, I can use a dedicated site for those things that will do a much better job. * Tight integration with calendering software so that I can easily keep a record of attending this event. For example I keep my personal schedule in ical, but any software could be used. My tastes might be a little bit different from mainstream audiences, but really all I want to do is follow all the upcoming programming and entrepreneur events and conferences around me. I don't think my requirements for an events site are that high, but why does such a site not currently exist? I think that building a new piece of software around these concepts will make a good events site that will create value and save more time for people.