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Scott McMullan writes in Google/Internet Archive, Meet Mr. Event:

In the spirit of "tags are the new black," here's a vision for how event and calendar management should be handled by 2006: Wouldn't it be grand if all events in the world, from a garage sale in Lexington to a tech conference in SF, could be automatically discovered (Google), stored in one central, public domain, web services accessible database (Internet Archive), where the events could then be categorized (Topix), community rated and recommended (Amazon/Netflix/Last.FM), personally tagged (Flickr/, and ultimately custom-fed (PubSub) directly to your calendar device of choice (Calconnect)?

Cool, where do I sign up? I Could have used this to promote our now defunct SF Web Services SIG, which was done "by hand," one site/email list at a time. Not to mention the relative difficulty when you go searching for a good event in your area...(not to knock or -- thanks guys!) But I want this uber event service now!

So past and current pains combined with threads followed, dots connected, and small wheels turned since last week's Berkeley Calendar Project post create this mashup event service vision. Actually, people are talking about this vision in so many words. Dr. Bob Glushko and Allison Bloodworth et al are leading part of the effort by trying to bring sanity and sharing to the 80+ event calendars of UC Berkeley. Tantek Çelik and other folks working on hCalendar talk about using your web site as your API,

"...bloggers can discuss events in their blog(s) in such a way that spiders and other aggregators can retrieve such events, automatically convert them to iCalendar, and use them in any iCalendar application or service.",

Kevin Hughes at zLab writes,

"The potential for applications that make use of networked, time-driven information is huge. Today's portals have no concept of event personalization or collaboration. Today's applications have only the most basic concept of integrating with or subscribing to time-driven data. And there are no providers of horizontal event-based services. ... Software and the Internet has freed online music from its proprietary data and application jails, why not do the same with events? The traditional calendar interface deserves a overhaul.",

Marc Canter chimes in,

"I wonder if they wanna help put up shared XML servers of Events - scraped from throughout the web?",

the folks proclaim,

"Our members’ intent is to enable calendaring and scheduling tools and applications to enter the mainstream of computing," said Dave Thewlis. "After email, the World Wide Web, and instant messaging, calendaring and scheduling capabilities are what business people and consumers will really care about.",

and many many others I have yet to discover [add more in comments]. Yes, A few people are already doing similar stuff, like,, openeventscom,,, and most likely Google Labs (?) [any more?]. But for starters, from what I can glean these efforts rely on people coming and manually submitting events, rather than auto-discovery and aggregation via spidering --> problem of db critical mass.

So let's make one! Let's combine something practical and "standards-based" (ie., iCalendar/XHTML) like hCalendar, but extend it with the rich UBL-inspired semantics of a Berkeley Event Model. Now that everyone agrees, let's move one. We need open source tools so event producers (even for my yard sale) can list their events on their blogs/web sites, like they already do, but also be sure to use valid markup. (Note: people are motiviated to promote their events -- no prodding necessary) Then we need an open source spider, a bunch of disks and some linux boxes, a REST API, open source recommendation and reputation/rating/tagging engines (eg., tweaked openscrobbler + ??/??/??), and some pub-sub and feed generators. And to top it off, let's make the database and service usable by all (eg., some kind of creative commons), so we can unleash the creativity of the world to build custom interfaces via our web services API. Easy stuff in these days of inspiration from Amazon/Google/PayPal/eBay/SForce, open source, wikis, bugzilla, and PayPal donate buttons. Right?

The law of ideas says that at least 6 (or is it 8?) people are either building or have already built this exact event service -- and I haven't found it yet. Any pointers? If not, anyone want to build this monster?

This is going to take me a few weeks to digest...


On Wednesday, January 19, 2005, 7-9pm, we will be meeting at Crepes on Cole in San Francisco to talk about Microformats with Tantek Çelik.

Account Deleted

Each person clickity click clicking away at a little machine that they are sucked into like a fly to light. Sorry, but that's just entirely too open for me. This is a Brave New World turning out as prophecy of our immediate future. There are at least three things about Kevin's comment that made Rohit smile: the invocation of physics, the notion that 30 is relative, and the thought of seeing you next week.

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Thank you.


John C. Edwards

I have a use for hCard, however since it does not include a salutation name field the standard is of no use to me.

An example:
My father is named Joseph Beach Edwards which is the standard manner in which his name appears in postal mailings, however, everyone calls him Joe. therefore, a letter, postcard or email would begin with, "Dear Joe,".

Salutation has been removed from Outlook Address books, too. It is as iff we are not learning from our past. Will the salutaion name field be included at some point I wonder?


Account Deleted

I want to trackback it, but i can't. I have posted it to

Thank you for the post!

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