A Few Random Observations on Events

As one might expect, I have a few thoughts now and again about “events,” even if I have continued my life as a shut-in so far this year. That being said, some days are more event-filled than others (today for example there’s a dinner, drinks w/ an out of town friend, Larry Lessig’s last SF book reading, and a show I just found out about – all, unfortunately, happening at the same time tonight…).

In any case, it was the last event that I want to write about a bit since it was a bit of a serendipitous discovery, and is a good example at some of the gaps that still exist with event tools.

A couple days ago, I saw a pretty neat video featuring a new Electro Harmonix effects box. This demo was definitely a cut above the average music gear demo (this one is even better). Browsing around today, it turned out that Mark blogged about this video yesterday on Boing Boing, and that an EHX employee ended up posting some more info about the performers, including a link to their YouTube accounts. Their current video is entitled Show on Wednesday! and 10 seconds in, it turns out that it’s in San Francisco (the YouTube profile doesn’t have anything about the location). A quick check on the posting date (yesterday) confirmed that the show is in fact happening tonight.

The reason for this lengthy description of how I discovered this event is because it’s really quite a long (and fragile) chain of serendipitous events (particularly in clicking into the comment thread (which definitely wouldn’t have happened if I had caught this post later in my feed instead of randomly browsing on the site), and then choosing the right YouTube account (of three linked), and then clicking play on their new video to discover that they were local).

Now, of course, as any band of any sort would, they have a MySpace page. Which has a big graphic highlighting their show – and they have their show entered (and a MySpace blog post), so if someone happened directly on there, I guess they could find out about it.

At this point, I had enough information to enter it onto the old red and yellow, where I could continue to add to my copious notes on entry improvements (perhaps the topic of some future post).

Red Devil Lounge Calendar DetailNow, of course, since I’m an events geek, I decided to continue along this trail and the next stop was to the Red Devil Lounge’s site and more specifically, their calendar. It, like most other venue sites, is about par for the course, appearing to be hand generated in Dreamweaver. Interestingly, it does have an RSS feed, generated by a commercial desktop app no less (FeedForAll). The interesting (and somewhat amazing) thing about venue sites is that across the board, they haven’t really changed much in the past decade…

Now one interesting thing about the event is that I got the official title wrong (I didn’t change it on the Upcoming event – one of the things we (and no-one else) ever tackled was multiple representations/ownership of the same event). But, rather than go off on tangents about the minutiae of event modeling (there are a bunch of more interesting coinciding process issues with editing even of canonical entries as well), I did want to point out something that caught my eye.

Pirate Cat Radio‘s official link for the “Baghdad By The Bay Showcase” is actually an Upcoming RSS syndication link of the guy who runs the Baghdad By The Bay show, RICK!. Now, it’s pretty cool that Rick has a somewhat active account that has his radio show schedule (sorry recurring events never got better), but surprisingly, the actual physical show wasn’t listed (score one for Upcoming’s entry-dupe checking).

Now, since I don’t do this for a living anymore (and haven’t for a while now, so I’m out of the loop), so this isn’t really any sort of rigorous analysis, and there are some guys attacking the music side of things much more vigorously (for example, it looks like Rick added the concert to Sonic Living last month, and there’s a heckuva lot of Tour/Ticket related activity), so that area, while still incomplete is actually getting a lot more attention than others.

But I guess one of the things that struck me was how there’s lots of information out there, but it’s not particularly well connected. There are some pretty huge gaping holes and the “serendipity” feels more haphazard than gratifying, and well, it’s all just a lot of work.

Hmm, I’ll just end here. I think I started off wanting to talk more about interactions of calendaring/semi-private/public event planning/interactions and proactive discovery, but this is getting a bit long for a ramble, so maybe next time when the spirit moves me (i.e. when I’m avoiding real work).