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IDEA #16 – What’s Going On Tonight

If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m quite obsessed with the convergence of online and offline, social networking, events, and my love for music.

Have you ever wondered what’s going on tonight? It’s such a mess online — there’s no single source that will show you all the things going on tonight. I have to frequent many websites, as well as my local newspaper and weekly newspaper — to find out about things going on.

I’d love the ability to call up a phone number and be told about various things going on — it’d all be automated (using VXML technology). It would tell me about some concerts going on, tell me where they are, and let me listen to 30-second clips of the artists’ songs. It would tell me about some of the exciting new / hot movies that are playing at theaters. It would tell me about some local theater productions going on. It would tell me about some sporting events going on locally — or big national ones that people will be watching at sports bars (and it’ll suggest a particular sports bar to go see it at). It would tell me about trivia night at a local bar, or a happy hour special somewhere, or a singles mingle at a bowling center.

Much like how the search engines work (do a search that gives results with sponsored and non-sponsored listings), this service would operate the same way. Various events going on would be sponsored and told to you — thus, if a big football game was going on tonight, Buffalo Wild Wings could pay to suggest to you to watch the game at Buffalo Wild Wings and receive “$2 well drinks all night!”.

Users of the service would recommend different events going on — there’d be a social networking aspect to it online where you’d eventually have friends and neighbors (people that you don’t know, but whom have similar tastes as you) … and you could learn what they’ve recommended in the past.

Of course there’d be a website as well that would have all this information available to you — but there’d be the phone call capability too.

Your thoughts?

  • Jonathan

    Good idea – a friends community around it would work well…

  • Simon

    The idea is pretty cool, as I sometimes have the same problem finding out what’s going on. I think users should be able to add events themselves, like when you “digg” an article on Digg, you can “digg” an even, and others can do the same thing. All events are categorized into main categories (such as concerts, movies, sports, etc.) and location (city/state). An easy business model could be targeted ads.

  • Weston Campbell

    Weather, News, Movie times, Poker, Traffic reports, Driving directions and much, much more. Toll Free = 1-800-555-TELL (Yes, that’s a real number).

  • K’

    I think it’s brilliant and always thought there was space to implement such a thing. But wouldn’t a phone call service be too expensive? Sending a text message and receiving info back should be a time/money saver.

  • Steve Poland

    K — I’d want to hear an audio ad about whatever is going on. There’d be ways of monetizing it.

    Weston — TellMe is great, but isn’t going to tell you any events other than movie times (and I’d love to have just a few movies recommended to me that are ‘must sees’).

    Simon — love the ‘digg’ idea for events. Another option is that people specify if they are attending an event (cough Socializr whenever it launches), then you’ll know who will be at an event — and where the masses will be (or the people that have similar interests to you; or your friends).

  • Jonathan

    Could combine it with an idea I had “Who wants to go?” where you could click a link on the site and auto email/rss your friends group – they click a link if they are interested; thumbs up/down or “Book me in!”.

    Could have a button on a toolbar too which glowed if a friend suggested an event.

    For example, I go to ticketmaster, notice a concert; or an online gig guide with listings for events… I click the “who wants to go” button conveniently located next to all events and it queries all my friends via rss, IM or email, I can then contact them to see if they want to buy tickets or whatever… You could have a drop down too “respond before x”

    Could use our API for management of the friends and profiles, GPS coords etc of the event… neat eh?

  • Steve Poland

    jonathan — I like it!

  • The Man

    Why not RSS feed all your favourite sites into a personalised EVENTS page? you could access your personalised page via your mobile, click on your interest, and watch or LISTEN to a streamed ad?

    If the advertiser was real smart, they could just use the ad they use on radio and link that to the events website. Save it as an MP3 for others to download and in a format that would automatically save on their phone in their phone calendar or outlook. The next trick would be to find a way for their phone to sync with their myspace, digg etc page to post an ad (with the users permission off course).

    whatchu think?

  • rulepark

    Initially, it sounds like a not really that good idea to me. Cause, it sounds so not the latest trend that should be happening, but it is cool enough, if u can add in Jonathan’s idea by seeing who is going to that event.

    If you can see some 1 u like going to the same event, this service would really help!

  • Aditya

    Interesting idea, Steve.

    I guess gets you there partially, along with craigslist events. I suppose what you are really talking is a meta search engine that greps all these sources and shows you what’s going on in your area. An event aggregator, maybe?

    The phone idea may not pan out well because at some point you’d want to have random access to events not something like “Press 1 for concerts” etc.

  • Steve Poland

    Mobile phone incorporated with voting of events each night:

  • Mike

    I work with the guy who created often. I did a job for him a while back that published his events database over the phone using asterisk. Its similar to this idea, but I think, as you do, it should be taken much further. You can check it out by dialing 1-866-NN-EVENT.

  • Hesstruk

    this is awesome

  • Dasdasdasda

    Awsomme :)

  • guest1234

  • Tom

    This is not awesome. Just do it with xml (not vxml) and a smartphone. Heck, you could get this info with RSS. or texts. or tweets. Why would anyone want to call a robo voice to read the internet to them? I hate listening to robo voices. I fired my cell phone and hired an iPod touch, because wireless covers my life better than cell phone networks. Young ‘uns are choosing text over voice whenever possible, and it is the trend we’re all heading toward.

    Even if you are blind, you will have a screen reader, and would do this with Siri on your iPhone, looking at xml / rss / etc.

    Unless I’m really missing something.