Noah J Nelson on Wednesday, May. 7th
Once upon a time creative technologist Andy Baio (XOXO Fest, Waxy.org, Kickstarter) wizarded up a collaborative events calendar called Upcoming.org. It was early in the Web 2.0 days (2003 to be exact) and after a while Baio and his partners old the service to Yahoo! back when it still had the exclamation point in its name.
Then Yahoo did what Yahoo did best: nothing. Just let it rot on the vine.
Last year Yahoo “sunsetted” Upcoming.org, this despite the fact that there is still no single great events management tool on the web. No one has nailed it, but Yahoo didn’t even bother to try. Luckily a group of volunteers rescued all the posted data, but it looked like the terabytes of history were just going to moulder away.
Then a strange thing happened. Yahoo asked Baio if he wanted Upcoming.org back. He said yes. Now he’s taken to Kickstarter to see if there is actual demand to build an updated Upcoming.org… and the people have spoken. It is day one of the campaign and Upcoming has over $44,000 in pledges, clearing Baio’s $30,000 goal.
Baio has stated that he doesn’t want to ever sell Upcoming.org again, and has no interest in harvesting user’s personal data to sell to advertisers. I know that there are a lot of crowdfunding haters out there–thanks Valleywag–who don’t get what crowdfunding projects are, or can be at their best. This one, staked in Baio’s personal reputation as one of the Internet’s good guys, is a great template. Upcoming.org might not cure cancer, feed the homeless, or solve climate change but it also isn’t out to rip everyone off as a matter of course.
Image: Upcoming in 2007, from the Kickstarter page.