[When 2.0] Startup panel


Andy Baio (upcoming.org) – Everything on the site is user self-defined. Purchased by Yahoo. Yahoo Local is not strictly user generated. Working on the fusing of those views. None of us realized just how big the universe of events is. Zvents is just focused on the San Francisco Bay, and each day can have a thousand of events, which is just a fraction of the possible events. The trick is being able to filter the noise.

Brian Dear (EVDB) – Started with a community network in San Diego in 1988 – had to put in movie showtimes, which was a huge pain. Around 1994 explored building an events module into what they were doing, but couldn’t justify the expense. Wanted to build an event alert service. With the rise of RSS and ical share it seemed time to take a look at it again. EVDB is taking events that are already there out there in the world.

Scott Hieferman (Meetup) – Years ago, 40% of Americans went to local meetings – now it’s like 10%. When there were no computers, people had neighborhood events – now we’re isolated.

Ramesh Jain (Eventweb) – Events are an abstraction for time, and calendar is a structure for representing that. The beauty of events is that they are related to each other – at any time we are affected by lots of events. How do we create this web of events? Have to go beyond the calendar. You will be searching for events that are in the context of other events. Events have a strong experiential character – it’s becoming easy to capture experience of events. When we search for events we’re also looking for the output of past events.

There’s a bunch of stuff about business models that I don’t track as I try to get email working – the When 2.0 wireless isn’t getting me anywhere, and the Stanford wireless seems to not pass kerberos authentication – sheesh. Back to WebPine.

Scott says that when they went from free to fee they lost half of their meetups, but now, six or seven months later, they’re back to where they were and business is growing at about 15% per month.

Scott also brings up the cautionary example where Meetup thought they’d make money from people advertising locations to hold events, but it ended up with people threatening to boycott establishments because events of opposite philosophies were taking place there. They went from people paying for listings to wanting to sue.

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