Wednesday, March 30, 2005

There's lots of action in the online calendar world. A fair amount of it gets brought to my attention, which is lots of fun.
  • Ted pointed me to Mosuki, and I hope to meet some of the creators shortly. It's more oriented towards personal calendars than the other sites but it does allow you to share.
  • I met Brian Dear a few months ago and heard about EVDB. Now that it's announced, I can talk to others about it too. Scraping sites for event and venue information sounds like a really valuable service.
  • Kragen Sitaker showed me a calendar site that seemed pretty cool. Rather than try to scrape every page, his demo let the user pick certain text, send it to the demo site and it would turn that text into an event (pulling out date, time and location if it could) on your calendar.
  • Brian posts about Upcoming, a public events site with feeds to let you know about event categories you're interested in, and a way to add events you want to your personal calendar. It has a HTTP/iCalendar interface that allows users to synch into iCal. According to, upcoming is the biggest new thing with hundreds of bookmarks.
  • So far, Trumba's newly announced OneCalendar gets a rather less enthusiastic response. Trumba consists of several ex-Visio guys according to their press release, and like EVDB they have high-powered investors so expect some noise. Already you can synch with Outlook which has got to be a highly desired feature.
  • Of course, we are working on some of the same stuff too, only with a federated server approach. When you share your calendar with Chandler you can share it on any WebDAV or CalDAV server (see also recent article). We're working on a WebUI for such shared calendars so that the calendar owner or their friends can view the shared calendar or individual events just by going to the URL in the browser. We may do tagging just like everybody else, too.
So far I don't use any of these, there isn't quite enough "there" there, whether it's users I want to share with or features I need. My calendar is in iCal, stored locally, and I don't even share it with anybody, though I do share one other person's iCal calendar. But I don't think that isolation will last long given the exploding options.

I wonder what Yahoo, Google and Microsoft are going to do in this space? Yahoo has more of the world's calendar info than any other site at this moment, because of its excellent support for group calendars. What will Yahoo do with that data? If it does not expand its features soon, possibly allowing users to synch up calendar data on the site with their client software, Yahoo will soon see its calendar data decay and vanish. As for the two gorillas, I really don't have any idea whether they will buy, innovate, or crush.

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