Yelp events compared to Upcoming; Incoming "bacn"

Gordon Luk, Co-founder of Upcoming.org, my favorite events site

Heh, instead of going to events today I stayed home and am playing with event sites. It must have been because of my visit to Upcoming.org yesterday (that’s my photo of Upcoming.org co-founder Gordon Luk). Anyway, Webware today writes about Yelp’s new events functionality, which focused my attention even more on the event sites.

I’ve been going through the two sites (Yelp and Upcoming) comparing their approaches to event listings. If you don’t know about Yelp, it’s a site for reviewing restaurants while Upcoming is a site almost wholly focused around events and conferences.

But before we get back to the event sites we should talk about the newest Web term to be passed around: bacn.

You know, we have spam and now we have “bacon” without the “o”.

What is bacn? It’s the emails that get generated by all these social networking sites (and other sites) when you sign in, or get a notification, or when you try to add friends (that generates bacn for your friends). It’s all covered on Andy Quayle’s site. According to Chris Brogan he was the first to use it. Anyway, that term has been showing up in tons of conversations I’ve been having lately.

So, back to the events sites.

Upcoming.org definitely has the geek events down. Search for “Lunch 2.0″ and you find a ton. But what if you want to do something a bit more, say, entertaining? Say Opera in the Park (Yelp) in San Francisco? Here’s the same listing on Upcoming.org.

What do you notice?

For me, Upcoming is colder. Yelp has links to restauants and has a more pleasing design. At least to my eye.

So, why am I not switching all my event stuff off of Upcoming? Two reasons:

1. Facebook. Yeah, yeah, I know you’re getting sick of hearing me talk about Facebook but it is now the MUST HAVE portal for my digital life. If you don’t have a Facebook application I’m not going to be all that excited about you. So get one. Upcoming has it.
2. My “friends.” I have more than 200 friends that I’ve hand picked on Upcoming. I don’t have any friends on Yelp. Actually, that’s not true. I just added a couple of people I know who I trust to bring me to good restaurants and events. But, still, that’s almost zero. Truth is about these kinds of sites that they really work a lot better after you get a bunch of friends onto them. So, I’m not likely to leave a site where I’ve gotten it all setup and working well and where I have a good group of friends I trust.

Anyway, more on Yelp over on TechMeme. Which one are you going to use? And, yes, I’ll add anyone as a friend who asks me. I’m Scobleizer on Yelp and RobertScoble on Upcoming.

I’d love to know how you like these sites in comparison to Eventful which I haven’t tried much yet or Confabb? UPDATE: I forgot about ZVents, which I’ve had a good look at but forgot about over the past year. Any other event sites we should know about? Yeah, I know there’s one built into Facebook but we’ll leave that one off the table for now.

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Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, Scoble travels the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology for Rackspace's startup program. He's interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators and reports what he learns in books ("The Age of Context," a book coauthored with Forbes author Shel Israel, has been released at http://amzn.to/AgeOfContext ), YouTube, and many social media sites where he's followed by millions of people. Best place to watch me is on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RobertScoble

Comments

  1. The problem with these event applications (incl Facebook) is that they don’t integrate all aspects of event management. What service lets you plan, publish, promote and monetize your events?

    IPartee does. We’ll be at TechCrunch20, so come check us out.

  2. The problem with these event applications (incl Facebook) is that they don’t integrate all aspects of event management. What service lets you plan, publish, promote and monetize your events?

    IPartee does. We’ll be at TechCrunch20, so come check us out.

  3. Yessir, bacn started at PodCamp Pittsburgh2 with Andy Quayle, Jesse Hambley and Tommy Vallier, Val Head, and Jason Head. It just kinda makes sense.

    I use Upcoming. I just like that I’ve got the widget on my website and in my Facebook, and I watch YOURS to figure out where to go (or where I might want to go). San Fran makes it a mess, because you guys have 3,414,997 things to attend every week. But I still see some neat stuff that way.

  4. Yessir, bacn started at PodCamp Pittsburgh2 with Andy Quayle, Jesse Hambley and Tommy Vallier, Val Head, and Jason Head. It just kinda makes sense.

    I use Upcoming. I just like that I’ve got the widget on my website and in my Facebook, and I watch YOURS to figure out where to go (or where I might want to go). San Fran makes it a mess, because you guys have 3,414,997 things to attend every week. But I still see some neat stuff that way.

  5. It depends on your community.

    For Germany, the better upcoming is wevent.org (covered them here http://detech.blognation.com/2007/08/21/wevent-the-problem-when-org-meets-com/ )

    so if I would stay purely German, that would be my choice. But I am not. I am international and geeky, which despites it shortcomings, upcoming has my choice.

    Yelp? Uninteresting to me for the very basic fact that it does combine events in a way I have no interest in with locations out of my reach.

    Same with meetup – I use them when I engagen in something American centric. If in Germany, I would go for amiando, much stronger ties to the communities.

    But to give the comparison to Yelp – I would not use it, but rather Qype.

    Why? Content. Contacts. In MY sphere. In my field of interest. Opera is nice – for other people. I am just not interested in that, so upcoming with its geeky roots is just fine for me.

    Upcoming btw sucks greatly for the fact that they still cannot separate events I attend from the ones I am watching, very annoying. And the recent ‘enhancement’ on search clearly make me want to try out another competitor because it tries to force me to only search on one area, totally dismissing the fact that most users are interested in more than one area.

    Because if they are not and they are focussed in one area of contacts and places – well then yes, they would rather use yelp than upcoming …

  6. It depends on your community.

    For Germany, the better upcoming is wevent.org (covered them here http://detech.blognation.com/2007/08/21/wevent-the-problem-when-org-meets-com/ )

    so if I would stay purely German, that would be my choice. But I am not. I am international and geeky, which despites it shortcomings, upcoming has my choice.

    Yelp? Uninteresting to me for the very basic fact that it does combine events in a way I have no interest in with locations out of my reach.

    Same with meetup – I use them when I engagen in something American centric. If in Germany, I would go for amiando, much stronger ties to the communities.

    But to give the comparison to Yelp – I would not use it, but rather Qype.

    Why? Content. Contacts. In MY sphere. In my field of interest. Opera is nice – for other people. I am just not interested in that, so upcoming with its geeky roots is just fine for me.

    Upcoming btw sucks greatly for the fact that they still cannot separate events I attend from the ones I am watching, very annoying. And the recent ‘enhancement’ on search clearly make me want to try out another competitor because it tries to force me to only search on one area, totally dismissing the fact that most users are interested in more than one area.

    Because if they are not and they are focussed in one area of contacts and places – well then yes, they would rather use yelp than upcoming …

  7. From the organizer point of view, I found MeetUp visually more organized and intuitive than Upcoming. It is easier to grasp what is happening with your event compared to Upcoming, e.g. how many people are attending, when the event is taking place etc. especially if something has changed since you checked last time.

  8. From the organizer point of view, I found MeetUp visually more organized and intuitive than Upcoming. It is easier to grasp what is happening with your event compared to Upcoming, e.g. how many people are attending, when the event is taking place etc. especially if something has changed since you checked last time.

  9. Yelp’s data model has unfortunately has a few design and execution flaws. It’s a classic example of a great site that didn’t bring in the right types of leadership people to design the data model before writing the code and it shows in the user experience.

  10. Yelp’s data model has unfortunately has a few design and execution flaws. It’s a classic example of a great site that didn’t bring in the right types of leadership people to design the data model before writing the code and it shows in the user experience.

  11. Scoble,

    > I know you’re getting sick of hearing
    > me talk about Facebook but it is now
    > the MUST HAVE portal for my digital life

    I love this … knowing that you have the attention span of a fruit fly, I wonder what your MUST HAVE social networking portal will be in a year or so.

    I’m sure it’ll be something different, and I’m sure it’ll be something interesting, and I’m sure we’ll be hearing all about it on your blog.

    :-)

  12. Scoble,

    > I know you’re getting sick of hearing
    > me talk about Facebook but it is now
    > the MUST HAVE portal for my digital life

    I love this … knowing that you have the attention span of a fruit fly, I wonder what your MUST HAVE social networking portal will be in a year or so.

    I’m sure it’ll be something different, and I’m sure it’ll be something interesting, and I’m sure we’ll be hearing all about it on your blog.

    :-)

  13. John, it takes the brain of a fruit fly to not see coming that his next journey will lead him to networks for the mamas and the papas.

    Simple as that. Different things happening in your live, different attention. Robert, looking forward to that part of the journey and i don’t even want kids. ;)

  14. John, it takes the brain of a fruit fly to not see coming that his next journey will lead him to networks for the mamas and the papas.

    Simple as that. Different things happening in your live, different attention. Robert, looking forward to that part of the journey and i don’t even want kids. ;)