Crowdsourcing the answer to “what conference to attend?”

Richard MacManus asks “which tech conferences should I attend?”

I almost answered giving my opinion. But there’s a FAR BETTER way for him to figure that out than ask me what I think. It’s called “Upcoming.org.”

I’ve added hundreds of friends that I know into it. These are folks who are hard core into the same tech geeky events (like Gnomedex) that I’m into. Thanks to Upcoming.org they bring me the best events and I can look and see which ones of them are going.

Look at my page of events on Upcoming.org. I’ve picked the best events from my friends and added them to my own profile there. If I can’t make an event, but think it’s a good one for you to consider I say “I’m watching.” You can see which events I’m attending as well.

What you can’t see is that when you have a ton of friends that you’ve hand picked, like I have, whenever you sign into Upcoming.org it’ll show you new events that your friends have added that you should consider. Then you can see what those events are, and who is attending them. If you see an event like Gnomedex, which has 93 people who’ve registered on Upcoming for it then you know it’s a hot event. Especially if you know the attendees. Raines Cohen, for instance, is the guy who started the Berkeley Mac User Group. He’s going. Jeremy Wright, CEO of B5 Media is going. Scott Beale, founder of Laughing Squid is going. And so on and so forth.

Oh, and if you watch my profile over on Facebook it’ll tell you automatically when I’ve added a new event to my list on Upcoming.

Comments

  1. I wish there was a bit more on around the time of Techcrunch20 Robert
    We are attending and hoping to present but its a long ride from Ireland for just one event

  2. I wish there was a bit more on around the time of Techcrunch20 Robert
    We are attending and hoping to present but its a long ride from Ireland for just one event

  3. Many thanks for this post it made be visit upcoming.org again. With the result I learnt about a couple of cool events here in Cambridge UK.
    Its weird how I sign up for all this sites, don’t use them for a while and then suddenly they start becoming useful.
    Do you know of any sites where I can tick a bunch of people I am ‘following’ and which then alerts me to any public speaking events they are doing within a user selected distance of where I live.

  4. Many thanks for this post it made be visit upcoming.org again. With the result I learnt about a couple of cool events here in Cambridge UK.
    Its weird how I sign up for all this sites, don’t use them for a while and then suddenly they start becoming useful.
    Do you know of any sites where I can tick a bunch of people I am ‘following’ and which then alerts me to any public speaking events they are doing within a user selected distance of where I live.

  5. No way to sign up for the Facebook-Dev Happy-Lunch. I’m redirected to my Facebook home page. It doesn’t even show on the Lunch 2.0 Facebook group. Any idea why is that?

  6. No way to sign up for the Facebook-Dev Happy-Lunch. I’m redirected to my Facebook home page. It doesn’t even show on the Lunch 2.0 Facebook group. Any idea why is that?

  7. Agreed, it is a great service. As you said, it covers mainly “geeky” events, so what service do you find that PR or advertising professionals attend? Looking at say your interests or Jeremiah (who commented right before mine), its not just about the geek in us all :)

  8. Agreed, it is a great service. As you said, it covers mainly “geeky” events, so what service do you find that PR or advertising professionals attend? Looking at say your interests or Jeremiah (who commented right before mine), its not just about the geek in us all :)

  9. it would be nice for some of these eventss to be on the east coast…then i could actually attend

  10. it would be nice for some of these eventss to be on the east coast…then i could actually attend

  11. Pat,

    Maybe you should sponsor or help organize an unconference/BarCamp around the time of TechCrunch20. Perhaps at one of the many coworking spaces in the area (click my name for more).

    Raines

  12. Pat,

    Maybe you should sponsor or help organize an unconference/BarCamp around the time of TechCrunch20. Perhaps at one of the many coworking spaces in the area (click my name for more).

    Raines

  13. Sorry about the Facebook-Dev Happy-Lunch thing. Facebook is bursting at the seams (damn them and their growth!) so they had very limited room (also the reason it isn’t a Lunch). While the event had open invites in the beginning, they had me make the event “secret” (which causes the effects you mention) when we blew by their quota.

    FYI, I’m told they have room for about 150 and we have nearly 300 RSVP’d. I’m so going to get it from Meagan when this event starts.

    Re: Scoble’s mention of Upcoming. I wholeheartedly agree. Various Lunch 2.0 hosts started using Upcoming events as a way of managing or limiting their event size. Since Lunch 2.0 is entirely community driven, the community needed something like Upcoming so that smaller venues could host right along with the huge ones. Now I hear people have heard of us because, Lunch 2.0 events sometimes reach the top of their Upcoming page. How cool is that?

    http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2007/07/30/community-events-for-startups/

    Also, like Scoble, finding events through friends on Upcoming and Socializr as well as finding out who to meet up with at the event are two great features of the site (and Facebook, btw, though it isn’t nearly so easy).

    http://www.socializr.com/

  14. Sorry about the Facebook-Dev Happy-Lunch thing. Facebook is bursting at the seams (damn them and their growth!) so they had very limited room (also the reason it isn’t a Lunch). While the event had open invites in the beginning, they had me make the event “secret” (which causes the effects you mention) when we blew by their quota.

    FYI, I’m told they have room for about 150 and we have nearly 300 RSVP’d. I’m so going to get it from Meagan when this event starts.

    Re: Scoble’s mention of Upcoming. I wholeheartedly agree. Various Lunch 2.0 hosts started using Upcoming events as a way of managing or limiting their event size. Since Lunch 2.0 is entirely community driven, the community needed something like Upcoming so that smaller venues could host right along with the huge ones. Now I hear people have heard of us because, Lunch 2.0 events sometimes reach the top of their Upcoming page. How cool is that?

    http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2007/07/30/community-events-for-startups/

    Also, like Scoble, finding events through friends on Upcoming and Socializr as well as finding out who to meet up with at the event are two great features of the site (and Facebook, btw, though it isn’t nearly so easy).

    http://www.socializr.com/

  15. Major fatigue hits – I can’t “import” my Facebook (or LinkedIn) friends, so I have to add them all again to see what they are up to on Upcoming? No way…

  16. Major fatigue hits – I can’t “import” my Facebook (or LinkedIn) friends, so I have to add them all again to see what they are up to on Upcoming? No way…

  17. only thing is Upcoming doesn’t always give me enough advance information to make decisions 3-6 months in advance… what is probably a better way to check it out is to look at *last* year’s Upcoming entries for those confs, and see who was signed up to attend.

    (unfortunately, i always have trouble using the Upcoming UI to look up past events — Andy: can you fix that pleez? ;)

  18. only thing is Upcoming doesn’t always give me enough advance information to make decisions 3-6 months in advance… what is probably a better way to check it out is to look at *last* year’s Upcoming entries for those confs, and see who was signed up to attend.

    (unfortunately, i always have trouble using the Upcoming UI to look up past events — Andy: can you fix that pleez? ;)

  19. Shameless plug…..Confabb.com – the world’s largest conference database, social networking/media for attendees, etc. and, coming soon, a platform for organizers to build rich (read lots of Web 2.0 stuff) conference web sites (free). Confabb’s goal is to power the conference eco-system!

  20. Shameless plug…..Confabb.com – the world’s largest conference database, social networking/media for attendees, etc. and, coming soon, a platform for organizers to build rich (read lots of Web 2.0 stuff) conference web sites (free). Confabb’s goal is to power the conference eco-system!

  21. Most people use the list also for groups – I run two for European New Media conferences as well as Meetups, to make it more specific to the geographical area.

    People tell me that they use my list (I tend to add a lot of the stuff watching) as reference list of relevant events and go on from there.

    [Too bad that the recent updates benefit the occasional user whereas a person like myself screams at the screen regulary with upcoming.]

    Depending on what your goal is, it really makes sense to go into community meetings as well. And if you are not going to have a sponsorship, very often there are cheaper ways to still attend, even if you have to fund the travel.

  22. Most people use the list also for groups – I run two for European New Media conferences as well as Meetups, to make it more specific to the geographical area.

    People tell me that they use my list (I tend to add a lot of the stuff watching) as reference list of relevant events and go on from there.

    [Too bad that the recent updates benefit the occasional user whereas a person like myself screams at the screen regulary with upcoming.]

    Depending on what your goal is, it really makes sense to go into community meetings as well. And if you are not going to have a sponsorship, very often there are cheaper ways to still attend, even if you have to fund the travel.

  23. I’m not sure I agree with the “Crowdsourcing” method for conference selection. What ever happened to independent thought? If we make our decisions based on what’s popular (as opposed to what’s right) we’re headed for trouble.

    For example, size 10 is the most common shoe size in the US. So by the “Crowdsourcing” method, I should wear size 10 shoes even though my feet happen to be size 11.

    OUCH!!!

  24. I’m not sure I agree with the “Crowdsourcing” method for conference selection. What ever happened to independent thought? If we make our decisions based on what’s popular (as opposed to what’s right) we’re headed for trouble.

    For example, size 10 is the most common shoe size in the US. So by the “Crowdsourcing” method, I should wear size 10 shoes even though my feet happen to be size 11.

    OUCH!!!

  25. Somehow when I commented earlier I totally missed that Scoble mentioned me on this entry!

    Just for the record, I am but a mere CO-founder of BMUG. Reese Jones (who did Farallon which became Netopia and now does VC stuff) was the real founder and initiator; Tom Chavez and others helped. I just happened to be the one that stuck around the longest. And now I’m bringing that quarter century of experience to real-world communities: cohousing (click my name for info) and coworking. On upcoming, you can click through on my name and see what else I’m going to or watching.

  26. Somehow when I commented earlier I totally missed that Scoble mentioned me on this entry!

    Just for the record, I am but a mere CO-founder of BMUG. Reese Jones (who did Farallon which became Netopia and now does VC stuff) was the real founder and initiator; Tom Chavez and others helped. I just happened to be the one that stuck around the longest. And now I’m bringing that quarter century of experience to real-world communities: cohousing (click my name for info) and coworking. On upcoming, you can click through on my name and see what else I’m going to or watching.

  27. This is amazing for someone who thought VBITS was the end all. Robert..you keep on amazing me.

  28. I was at the Great Indian Developer Summit and the keynote was by Jesse James Garret, popularly known as the Father of Ajax and there was Dr. Venkat Subramaniam, Yakov Fain, Greg Murray, Frank Nimphius, Nokia’s India MD D Shivakumar, Mike Keith, Todd Anglin, Jean Luc David, Jon Aizen and many more speakers whose sessions and workshops were very useful for us. All the speakers and delegates had only good things to say at the end of the week long summit. www[DOT]developersummit[DOT]com says it is from 20-24 April in 2009; this is now a must attend for me.

  29. I was at the Great Indian Developer Summit and the keynote was by Jesse James Garret, popularly known as the Father of Ajax and there was Dr. Venkat Subramaniam, Yakov Fain, Greg Murray, Frank Nimphius, Nokia’s India MD D Shivakumar, Mike Keith, Todd Anglin, Jean Luc David, Jon Aizen and many more speakers whose sessions and workshops were very useful for us. All the speakers and delegates had only good things to say at the end of the week long summit. www[DOT]developersummit[DOT]com says it is from 20-24 April in 2009; this is now a must attend for me.