We shuttered the TO Events Calendar late last year because we:
1. Were having trouble managing it, because;
2. We hadn’t improved the technology to help make our lives easier as curators and your lives easier as contributors.
Our plan for the past year was to integrate Plancast via their API as they were (are?) doing a pretty good job of sucking in events from most of our event sources (Facebook, Meetup, Eventbrite, etc), leaving us with some leg work to grab events from proprietary software calendars from the likes of Rotman, the Toronto Board of Trade, etc.
Alas, word this week is that Plancast may be leaning towards extinction for many of the reasons we never attempted to commercialize our calendar software.
Kindly, Mark Hendrickson, founder and CEO of Plancast, has shared a thorough and insightful post-mortem. Some highlights:
Unlike other, more frequent content types such as status updates and photos (which can be shared numerous times per day), plans are suitable for only occasional sharing. Most people simply don’t go to that many events, and of those they do attend, many are not anticipated with a high degree of certainty. As a result, users don’t tend to develop a strong daily or weekly habit of contributing content.
This is low-volume, low retention content. From a mainstream point of view, it gets worse:
People also don’t proactively seek out events to attend as you might suppose. I’ve gotten into the habit of thinking about people as divided into two camps: those who have lots of free time and those who don’t.
While I wouldn’t agree with this assessment for those of us who were using the TO Events Calendar, it certainly speaks to why Plancast wasn’t able to take any steps towards profitability using a social sharing model.
There’s more from Mark at Techcrunch, but let’s get back to the TO Events Calendar.
In Toronto, we still have the issuing of aggregating media, tech, and design events from myriad disparate places on the Web. If anyone has any other suggestions on reviving the calendar by making it easy to import events from all over the place, we’re all ears. And, in the meantime, we’ll keep working to find the resources to solve this problem for ourselves and for you.