RealTime IT News

Yahoo Marks Social Calendar

UPDATED: Yahoo acquired social calendar site Upcoming.org to spruce up its local content fare, according to a company executive Tuesday evening.

Upcoming.org is a social event calendar, a Web resource where individuals create and manage events that can be tracked by friends and family, as well as people looking for something new in their area.

The resource appeals to Yahoo Local, which pinpoints local establishments by ZIP code, city or neighborhood.

Paul Levine, Yahoo Local general manager, said the company has been looking for a catalyst to enhance its own services, and it plans to integrate Upcoming.org's technology into a wide range of Yahoo sites.

"Event and events calendaring is such an exciting and emerging area of the Web and generally not one that's particularly well served, at least at scale, across the Web right now," he said.

The Upcoming.org site, however, won't be completely subsumed into the Yahoo portal. Though the three site owners -- Andy Baio, the site's creator, Leonard Lin and Gordon Luk -- will move to the Yahoo campus in Sunnyvale, Calif., the site will remain almost entirely its own entity.

According to a post by Baio on the company site Wednesday, Upcoming.org accounts will probably get transitioned to Yahoo accounts, but only if it avoids the migration problems created when Flickr users moved to Yahoo accounts after that acquisition.

Baio told internetnews.com that he, Lin and Luk will begin work immediately on updating the Upcoming.org site, as well as developing an events platform for their new employer's site.

There are a number of ideas the three are looking forward to implementing now that they have the time and Yahoo's considerable resources. Until now, the three worked on Upcoming.org in their spare time.

"For us it changes everything," Baio said. "If you think about what the site has done in the last two years and you think about the fact it's all been done while we were at day jobs, the potential for what we can now do is extremely exciting."

The popular Internet portal, competing for online hearts and minds against rival powerhouses Google and Microsoft , has put considerable effort into beefing up local fare this year.

Yahoo Local was launched in August 2004, and the company revamped it two months ago with a new "search by neighborhood" option and the ability to rate local businesses and compare them with other critics' ratings.