Late tonight there is news that Yahoo has purchased event calendaring site Upcoming.org. While financial terms have not been announced, this has to have been a nice payday for Andy Baio, Upcoming.org’s founder. After all, last I heard he was the only employee, and even he wasn’t working there full-time.
So, what does this mean for the “dark matter” world of event calendaring? And what does it mean for other would-be purveyors of something similar (although admittedly not identical), like Brian Dear’s EVDB/Eventful?
Well, it doesn’t legitimize the market, as the VC cliche goes. Saying that Yahoo buying Upcoming.org “legimitizes a market” like the long tail of events is like saying that being hit in the head by a falling brick beside a construction site legitimizes gravity. It does no such thing. Gravity exists, whether you like it or not, and your painful knock on the head is just a reminder that you shouldn’t stand around building sites without a hard hat.
Yes, there is still an interesting opportunity here in micro-events, as I’ve argued for some time. But Yahoo’s move reinforces that EVDB and its ilk will have to move quickly from trial to organic take-up if they are to avoid being marginalized.
As a side note, anyone want to bet that Yahoo didn’t have this in the bag for some time and was just waiting to announce it at the begining of the Web 2.0 conference? Shades of 1999.