Skip to content Now More Useful

Sure, I said I was on vacation, and I am. I’m just having some coffee, enjoying some open-ended web browsing, and “farting around.”

Upcoming Updates

Along those lines, the recent updates to Yahoo!’s are nice and make it much more useful for people in cities other than New York and San Francisco. The problem I always had with Upcoming were the classic two problems with most locale-oriented services:

dodgeball over-came those those problems quite quickly.

More Events, Much More Events

But, back to upcoming. What they’ve done is sucked in events from Yahoo! Local meaning that there’s now over 2,500+ events listed in Austin. Before, there were just 85 or so. Most of the new events are the kinds of hard to find things that I wanted Upcoming to help me find in the first place: happy hours, shows, and all the little things that you only find about in news papers and community listings.

Upcoming also did some interesting integration with fellow Yahoo! Cool Kids Company, flickr. First, you can tell Upcoming your flickr username and it will use your flickr buddy-icon. That seems like a small thing, but usually you have to go ferret out a URL or (worse and more common) upload a photo. Here, I just type in “cote” and it works. On the back-end, this is a wise decision because flickr has already burned the CPU time re-sizing any images people upload: that is, Upcoming is farming out buddy-icon processing time to flickr…if you use that feature.

Photos from flickr

The other Upcoming-flickr integration allows you to associate pictures from your flickr account to events in Upcoming. For example, check out the pictures I “added” to the BarCampTexas event. Upcoming creates a tag for the event, and then you simply add that tag to photos you want to associate with the event. Also of interest is that flickr adds a back-link to the Upcoming event, see the upcoming icon in the screenshot below:

Event in

You can also see the upcoming tag: upcoming:event=88822, which gets canonicalized to upcomingevent88822.

Yahoo! Integration

Clearly, Yahoo! is working on more integration in their portfolio. Along those lines, it’s also interesting to note that Upcoming and flickr released revs on the same day.

The how’s of this Yahoo! integration should be interesting to anyone faced with integrating software and services together. The method of using tags coded with event IDs is a good example of non-realtime, time-shifted, and probably RSS-backed integration. One key characteristic to keep track of is how much the integration relies on crowd-sourcing and end users: I had to manually go add the tag.

Of course, with flickr’s new geotagging (also dependent on user initiating the workflow), flickr theoretically knows the location of photos and the date the photo was taken, meaning Upcoming and flickr could make a best guess at assigning photos to events. But, that’s a whole lot of coding and processing. Out-sourcing that processing to end-users with tags is a lot easier. It’s good enough.

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Categories: Collaborative, Programming.