It’s Free Idea Friday! I like ideas. Others might say I need focus. So here’s an old one cluttering my head. Ideas are free. Execution isn’t. Take my idea, let it live long and prosper in your capable hands.
I like the trend of experiences over consumption, and I like the proliferation of web services and apps that integrate your online and offline experiences – I’m thinking about location-based apps (Facebook Places, Foursquare, Gowalla), and those calendaring and event services ( Plancast, Tungle, Socializr).
Wouldn’t it be hot though if these services married and made babies on your iPhone?
For simplicity’s sake, let’s call this a social calendar that aggregates and creates experiences for young professionals. As a collaborative gateway service, the social calendar could partner with young professional, business and philanthropic institutions (your local young professional org, the United Way, political activist groups, etc.) that have a desire to serve and market to young professionals, but have been a bit left behind in all the web 2.0 hubub. These organizations work hard to create real-life experiences and connections, but often haven’t been able to successfully reach the younger demographic. At the same time, young people everywhere are asking, “What is there to do?”
We’ve aggregated and monetized content and ideas, but no one has done the same with events and experiences. You can add your own events to existing services, but no one takes the time to aggregate the many existing calendars already out there. The social calendar would aggregate local and national experiences of interest to young professionals.
Not just music, entertainment, concerts and plays, but business, political and networking events as well. Our lifestyle is a blur between work and life after all. Existing local sites and services separate information into traditional boundaries of business or entertainment, and lack a cohesive and definitive picture. By aggregating experiences into one spot, the social calendar enhances the availability of community and its quality of place to users.
The social calendar could take existing iCal feeds and user-generated feeds, and bring them together in an intuitive and slick service. You could work in a freemium model where you entice new visitors with a default multi-calendared view, but with registration, users would be able to, via a drag and drop interface, select which feeds/calendars the user wants to see represented at a time, enjoy saved customized views, see private events, and other benefits.
You’d never have to worry about scheduling an event on the wrong day. You’d always know what was happening. You’d build the social calendar for the ultimate networker and the coolest hipster, but everyone would benefit.
Registered users would also be able to subscribe (via iCal and/or RSS) to those feeds, receive email reminders, share events with friends, etc. Registered users would also be able to add items to the calendar. Registration could be tiered: new users (events will be vetted/approved by an admin) and trusted (events automatically go on the calendar). Events can be tagged in multiple categories, but shows up once even when multiple categories or feeds are selected.
You’d want to keep it simple in the beginning, but should you be a fan of feature creep, there are endless directions to go once the basics are built. You could allow added value and content that included tips and recommendations, that could be turned on or off. Users, such as a small business or blogger, could embed their calendar onto their site with a link back to your social calendar (imagine being the native language for all calendars). You could follow other people’s calendars. There are a lot of places you could go.
Schedule a little time for Sunday to Saturday innovation.
I wrote about this idea in my first post ever on this site, so it holds a special place in my heart. Won’t you make it a reality for me?