Big in Japan: Social Tools and Services

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My Favorite Social Tools: Upcoming

I started with Flickr, clearly “The best way to store, search, sort and share your photos” and now I am ready to show you Upcoming. Both Flickr and Upcoming were bought by Yahoo and are great examples of social tools that work for me.

What: Upcoming is a social event calendar website that uses iCalendar and XML for content syndication. You can compare it to Evite (please stop using that service). What makes Upcoming so important is the ability for users to build connections between each other. For example, one of my contacts was attending an event called STIRR 1.5. I knew this because my friends events are listed on “My Upcoming” page. I clicked to see what Kristie was up to and found out that STIRR 1.5 was, “STIRR Mixers are blend of tech-social mixer and launchpad for new startups in an innovative format (the 60 second spot).” Neat, I should go to that so I clicked “Attend this event.” I was added to the event and then receieved an email from one of my contacts confirming that I would be there so that we could meet. He doesn’t know Kristie Wells, the contact that allowed me to discover the event in the first place, but he does know me. Kristie would have never thought to invite him, but now he will be coming.

Why: You can view events through your contacts or by metros. I have four metros setup on my account: Dallas, Austin, San Francisco and Miami. I can see public events in each metro regardless of whether or not a contact of mine is going. If I see an event that I am interested in I might click “watch event” instead of attend. Often one or more of my contacts will ping me to see if I am going, more often than not I am more interested in going if there are going to be people I know at the event. See how this works?

To Do: Sign up for an Upcoming account and add me as a contact. Check out my events or check out your metro. Start “watching” or “attending” a few events. Have fun!

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