At Timely our goal is to help people find events online. It’s really that simple. Only, it’s not.
And it’s not simple, because the majority of online calendar/event systems are designed with exclusivity in mind. Facebook wants you to post all your events within its system, Google+, Eventful, Eventbrite, Linkedin… the list goes on. These are all great systems, systems that we use routinely, but the trouble is they’re big proprietary systems from big exclusive companies that also compete with one another, and so the end result is a wildly fractured event index for any one place or time.
Say you were visiting Vancouver, for example, and you wanted to find out what’s going on. Where would you search? The locals might have their spots, and if you knew enough people in Vancouver, maybe you could tap into some Facebook events. But there would be no way to see a fully comprehensive list of all the events happening in the city, unless you wanted to visit 10 different event calendar websites—and even then you still might miss something. The crux of the issue is that these systems don’t talk to each other. Facebook Events won’t play nice with Google+ events, and probably never will. The same goes for an infinite number of proprietary community and regional calendar systems. They all want to be the best event destination, and in doing so they’ve scattered the event information for the event seeker.
So what we’re doing at Timely, ultimately, is to try and solve a very complex societal issue: How do we, as a plugged in, technologically advanced culture become “in the know?” How do we make events, all events searchable, discoverable, and shareable online?
It’s a big question, one that compels us every day. To solve it, we’re developing tools like The All-in-One Event Calendar (Ai1EC), a free plugin for WordPress, that allows website owners to share and connect their events into an event network. Creating an event once on your own website can send it out to anyone else who subscribes to your calendar. It’s cross-compatible with Google Calendar, Apple iCal, MS Outlook (pretty much any system that accepts .ics feeds), and most recently Facebook Events, and we plan on adding more compatibility with other event systems in future releases.
What’s more, when you use the Ai1EC you can choose to send the data of your events into The Timely Network, an event index we’re developing that will aid people in their search for events online—no matter what city, town or mountain hamlet they happen to be in. The Timely Network is still in its infancy, but with each new event you post to your Ai1EC calendar, you add to a searchable database that will make those events more discoverable to search engines.
At Timely, we’re not trying to be the next big event destination. We’re trying to give you, the Calendar user, the tools you need to become that on your own.