Tuesday, December 1, 2009

(empo-tuulwey) Plancast, .@parislemon, .@socialjulio, and Upcoming

In one of those coincidental kind of convergence things, I happened to see two things at about the same time. The first was MG Siegler's TechCrunch post about Plancast, which I starred in Google Reader to save for future reading. The other item was something shared by Julio Fernandez (@socialjulio, formerly @oraclejulio) - namely, his Plancast entry for SXSW.

So I guess Plancast is trendy.

While I didn't have time to read all of Siegler's post when I first saw it, the title - "Plancast Is Foursquare… For The Future" - was certainly intriguing. But when I initially read the first paragraph, I began wondering - what's the difference between Plancast and, for example, Upcoming, which lets you announce your...um...upcoming plans?

I finally got around to reading the rest of Siegler's post, and found that he addressed that very point.

While services like Upcoming and Going allow you to broadcast future things you’ll be doing, they are very event-centric. If you’re just going to get a drink tomorrow night and want friends to join, it seems like overkill to create an Upcoming event for that, for example.

Well, this obviously attracted the attention of me, the "a tool is not a way of life" guy. So I asked myself, "Why NOT use Upcoming to announce non-event future plans?" So I figured I'd try it out. I mean, if you can floss with a screwdriver, then you can use Upcoming to announce a non-event.

My event of choice was "Drive to work," which I listed as occurring on Interstate 10 and State Route 57 between 7:00 and 8:00 tomorrow morning. I gamely forced Upcoming to do my bidding, stating how many people could be invited to the event, the webpage for the event (this blog, since this exercise was designed for this post), and so forth. But finally, even I was forced to give up when I ran across this message.

Now I probably could have had more success if I had documented a non-event in a specific location, but if you can't document your commute, then what good is a service?

Now I haven't tried Plancast myself, and at this point I'm not going to sign up for it. I'm still leading a James 4:13-14 (NIV) life that does not lend itself to future planning. But MG and Julio seem to be happy with the service.
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