29 December 2006

EventNett, a community-maintained events calendar

I created a new web site called EventNett. It's in beta and open to anyone. Try it out.


EventNett is an events calendar modeled after the openness of Wikipedia. Anyone can add new events or edit existing events without having to log in or provide any personal information. There are no advertisements so you don't have to click through multiple pages or scroll past banner ads in order to view event information. More importantly, there is no central control. A single company or individual doesn't decide what gets listed or what gets prominent placement. Shows at your community theater or drink specials at your neighborhood's corner bar are as important as stadium concerts or wine tastings--all based on what you want to see.

The intention behind EventNett is to allow you to quickly find what you're interested in or to add what you think others might like. EventNett brings events to you with as little intervention as possible.

The big idea came around a year ago when Lisa & I were at a restaurant that had an advertisement behind their bar for 1/2-priced bottles of wine on Tuesdays. It made me consider the countless other events like it that may only have a few local flyers and no internet presence. Creative Loafing and Access Atlanta have advertising models that just don't accommodate such notices, so I thought that an open-community site might be useful.

Details on how to use EventNett are on the About page. The important point to remember is that you can edit anything. Don't be afraid to add information to existing events or locations, or to delete an event you think has been cancelled. Bad edits can be rolled-back to a correct version, and deleted events can be restored.

Currently, EventNett contains items that I've added and that the EventNett web robot, Yoink, has "liberated" from the AOL Atlanta events calendar (minus any copywrited content). Feel free to contribute, request features, and report issues. This is a beta, after all, so expect some oddities and down-time as the kinks get worked out. If, to consider the unthinkable, you feel EventNett is useless and rather silly, try one of the similar sites instead like Upcoming.org or Eventful.com. They're more polished, but somewhat less open.

Hopefully, EventNett will help you find at least one 1/2-priced wine special to make it useful to you.

Notable features

These are what I feel are the most useful features of EventNett:

  • Everyone has control over all content
  • Keep track of new and updated events - You can view what's been added in the last week under the Recently Edited tab.
  • Each venue has a link to a map of its location (using Google Maps, of course)
  • Each venue has a link to directions to it - You can store a "from" address when you create an account or add a temporary address when you're browsing anonymously.
  • Permalinks to events, locations, and custom searches - I.e. you could create a search for "jazz" in "Atlanta, GA" and bookmark the link.
  • Searches with keywords will automatically include synonyms - I.e. "theater" will find events tagged "theatre" or "drama". Keywords and synonyms are editable by everyone.
  • Search within categories - EventNett creates 10 high-level categories from the most popular keywords. These mimic the fixed categories present in some other events calendars, but they are generated dynamically from user contributions.

Upcoming features

These are features that are being developed:

  • Private events - accessible only to you or your friends
  • Event groups - I.e. group together dinner, a movie, then drinks, or maybe several bars for a Saturday pub crawl
  • Live maps within EventNett instead of a link to Google Maps
  • Show multiple locations listed in a single map - useful with event groups
  • Email notification of upcoming events
  • Access from PDAs and phones - So it's easy to find a local event when you're already out
  • Import and export iCalendar files - For use in Thunderbird, Outlook, etc.
  • RSS feeds for events - Based on a location or a custom search
  • Any suggestions?
[ posted by sstrader on 29 December 2006 at 1:02:51 PM in Culture & Society ]