Why Yahoo Acquired Upcoming.org

October 05, 2005

When I read this morning that Yahoo acquired upcoming.org I wasn't that surprised. Why would a search company acquire an events database? I think its pretty obvious that event search currently sucks!

I discovered this a few weeks ago when I wanted to plan a weekend with my girlfriend in either boston, nyc, or toronto - my decision would be based on whats going on in each city that weekend. But it's really hard to find out whats going on in each city. Every city web site has an event search that is equally difficult to use.

After this experience I realized that there is a lot of room for improvement for event search. Look at how indeed simplified job search with two boxes, what and where - the same could be done for event search.

I want to be able to search for events naturally with queries like nyc this weekend, etc. Since upcoming.org has an API, I was actually able to build a proof of concept event search that supports such queries. My example only works on a few cities, but I think Yahoo! could easily do what I did (it only took me an hour or two to put that together).

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DUDE. I love your search form. As you described, the problem isn't presence of data, it's more about finding useful information. That involves useful, easy search, locative browsing, and many more things which Upcoming is all about. Plus, the fact that it took you a matter of a few hours to put together a drop-dead effective search interface on top of our API kind of demonstrates the power of the open interface mentality. This is easily my favorite post so far about our acquisition. I can't wait to see what other interesting things people start to build on our platform. :)
Heh, I completely second gordon. better query processing for searches is high on our priority list, but well, having an API means anyone can scratch their itch (respect the remix). In case it wasn't clear: your proof of concept rocks!
Thanks Gordon, and Leonard!
dude, i am trying to build an app having upcoming event search, can you tell me whats the REST URL you re using and whats the API
ruchir, everything you need should be here at: http://upcoming.org/services/api/ Be sure to also check out our dev mailing list http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/yws-events/

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