Google calendar adds public events but does not get social!

Google calendar is one the few recent Google products that I love and use on a regular basis. It gets so many things right for an online calendar right – it lets you coordinate with colleagues, schedule events, check your calendar, anytime anywhere. The interface is efficient, letting one add and edit events easily. I have thought many times how Google calendar could weave a social events system like Upcoming system around it. After all, they have the basic ingredient for a great social system – a strong personal motivation for people to contribute. I tell Google calendar about my events since it helps me keep my life organized. It already knows about many of the events I am planning to go to. It knows about the people I invite to those events or who invite me to theirs. The social hooks already exist. It would be so easy to create a larger social arena around the information in my calendar that I am willing to make public.

So when I heard that Google calendar was adding public events, I was excited. Maybe this would be the beginning of the system acquiring social roots. Of course, this is Google, and public events meant simply a way to search for such events. I have noticed this more than once about Google – bridging people means providing search functionality! Search is not the best way to find event information. People are the easiest and fastest way to find events. If I can see all the events that my friends are going to (like on Upcoming) – some of them are likely to be ones I want to go to. When I find an interesting event, I want to see who else is planning to go to it. It would be so easy to add this type of a social structure into Google calendar.

But Google misses this fundamental fact again and again. That social discovery methods not keyword search is the best way to find social information. For example, when GoogleBase came out – I noticed that when you clicked on tags, it would perform a keyword search. This is so wrong – when I click on a tag, I want a direct connection to the people who used that tag, I don’t want mediation by Google’s algorithm, I want a direct connection.

I am hoping that I am mistaken – and the social stuff for Google Calendar is just round the corner. Hopefully!

3 thoughts on “Google calendar adds public events but does not get social!

  1. One thing you can do is add your friends’ calendars to your Calendar’s panel. Simply search on their Google Account email address. If they have shared their calendar, you can then see it as an overlay. I agree that its still some way from upcoming.org in social networking terms, but then try using upcoming as a collaborative calendar (-; However, watch out for what people weave on top of Calendar using the API

    Something else you can do to combine the power of both apps is to subscribe to your upcoming feed from within Google Calendar (tip use the webcal: address format)

  2. You make a good point about the API. Maybe Google is going to let others weave a social system on top of the calendar.

    The subscription to Upcoming feed does not seem to work for me. have tried multiple times – I seem to have problems with the webcal format.

  3. Not sure if Users could access their Google calendars when theres zero connectivity. Google could introduce an “offline-calendar-access” feature and may bundle this with its Desktop Tool. Updates can be Synched when users gets online.

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