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Summary:

Google has added public event search within its Google Calendar, a nice little piece of integration that overlaps with what a lot of startups are doing. The event aggregation space has recently been strengthened by outside investment: Zvents said it raised $7 million last week, Eventful […]

Google has added public event search within its Google Calendar, a nice little piece of integration that overlaps with what a lot of startups are doing.

The event aggregation space has recently been strengthened by outside investment: Zvents said it raised $7 million last week, Eventful (whose site appears to be down at the moment nevermind, it’s back up) raised $7.5 million, and Upcoming was bought by Yahoo.

Google Calendar users can now search for events by keyword, category, location, and date from within the calendar interface. Search results are drawn from movie listings, concerts, and other events from Google’s partners, or individual users via tools for publishing events and inviting people to them.

However, Google’s event planning does not seem to be integrated with Gmail contacts, Orkut, or any sort of social profiles. We’ve written a lot about the challenges faced by socially focused event-planning sites such as Skobee, Socializr, HeyLetsGo, Renkoo (will they ever launch?), and Involver. There are many other participants in this little segment…Minglenow, Planypus (site also appears to be down it’s back up now), and Weekendr, with varying emphasis on informal versus public events.

Calendar events have the potential to cut across a lot of Google products — local search, Google Base, et cetera — and, of course, there’s plenty ad potential there. The bevy of startups in the space are correct in saying that existing tools, including offline alternatives, Evite, and the event calendar on Craigslist, could definitely use an upgrade. We don’t recall recent figures on the active number of users of Google Calendar, but we’ll try to get that number if we can.

  1. Liz,

    This is Alex Chizhik from Planypus writing. Our site was down for routine maintenance for a short period today. Unfortunately, it happened exactly when you tried hitting the site. Sorry about the downage. Its up and running now, and we hope that you would check it out.

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  2. Hehe, yeah that was a crazy cosmic coincidence. We were down for about 30 minutes today due to upgrades to the server farm. We advertised the downtime on our site for several days prior…Funny that on our first ever scheduled server upgrade we get hit by gigaom :-)

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  3. it’s really the most logical place for this kind of service, and i hope to see more upcoming.org integration with yahoo as well (seen some cool beta mashuppy stuff on their labs page), and of course i expect to see something equally robust for ms live within a matter of months…

    i’m really surprised that this would launch without an ‘add to my calendar/gmail’ type utility…could bring new utility to groups and many other things…

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  4. Upcoming.org rocks. in just the past few months, i “tipped” over into being a regular Upcoming.org user, added about 25-50 friends to my Upcoming network, and now i can’t imagine how i lived without it.

    these days i surf events thru friends, tags, groups, and geographies in ways i never would have thought of before. it makes schedule-planning a very voyeuristic activity (‘hmmm… so what are my friends thinking about doing in the next few weeks?’).

    i’m sure Zvents and Eventful also have similar models, and i know of several other startups waiting in the wings with even more interesting angles, but i must say i’m a fan of Upcoming :)

    • dave mcclure
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  5. Alex and Yan,

    Sorry, I was offline for a bit there. I’ll add a link to Planypus.

    Liz

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  6. Hi Liz,

    Nice piece. The space is definitely heating up. We continue to feel that our focus on a particular demoraphic group -post-college, urban- and really connecting people offline is a key difference. We have a number of announcements coming soon, look forward to updating you.

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  7. Hi-We couldn’t help but notice that you did not mention eventcrazy.com in your article. We are the #1 search site for public events in North America and a content partner of Googlefor this section. We are also in the process of lauching myeventcrazy.com which will allow individuals to creat their own event listings that they may include in a community calendar on-site.

    Colleen

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  8. fyi, there’s a trailing “l” in the link to Renkoo which results in a “page not found” error.

    cheers,
    jeff

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  9. Thanks Liz.

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