Events Near is a project of Rob Watts - Rob has been advising on and building web apps since 1995 this is the latest in a variety of projects.
In Rob's words:
Events Near has been built to help people find and share events that are happening in their localities. The site is structured around locations and event types.
Places like Twitter offer a rich resource for people looking for new or interesting things. Sometimes it's difficult for people to get a hook around what is and what isn't really happening, what might be lame versus what might be cool. Events near is working towards making this process easier by surfacing content and links that are both relevant and getting traction in a particular space. It seeks to identify popular mentions and displays the results in lists that can be quickly scanned. It asks questions like what are the most popular links for a particular place in that event locality and tries to bring the best to the surface. The view is that whilst not perfect, people can quickly gain additional insights into the popularity of an event whatever its distinction.
In addition, a simple mechanism was added for people to add events in their locality and hold discussions about it from one central place. It can be difficult to promote low key events on the web , places like Facebook may be ideal for people with large or connected networks but might not be the best for people with either limited knowledge or awareness of what's needed to get their events noticed. To this end, various features have been added that give people simple sharing options with the emphasis on personal engagement and push. People can let others know that they are attending an event, they can rate an event, talk about it from a personal perspective and help add genuine value for others thinking about attending or recommending something thats due to occur in a space or place that they have an affinity.
Events just don't promote themselves, people need to get behind them and share a bit of interest. Be it that charity event that will help save lives or that book sale that will help pay for the leaky church roof. Where people add stuff we'll tweet it and reshare it to our social networks too. That said, the best driver of any cause is usually the people who care enough to make it happen. This site is trying to make that process easier. It isn't perfect by far, but it's a good addition to the general mix. Today at least, we don't really want to sell tickets and handle payments but that might well happen later. The core focus for today is to add utility and make it all useful.
Twitter has a wealth of content that's ripe for discovery. A problem for some is that it's difficult to navigate and hard to identify what has value to them. By focusing on specific mentions it's far easier to categorise. If people rock up on a page and see something of note, then it's pretty simple to dive straight in and connect with whoever it is is discussing a topic. It doesn't really matter to me whether that conversation takes place here or on Twitter or facebook even, the main thing is that I hope this made it easier for them to identify it. Facebook is a bit of a walled garden in that much of what happens there remains hidden. I'm hopefult that this will change, but for now will try and make the best of what's available.
It's an ongoing project and is evolving daily. The main thing for today is that users get a free profile page and can use us to help influence their brand penetration in places like Bing and other search engines that people use. Over time, I'd like this to be seen as an easy place to add event focused content and help have it shared with people who are interested. It'll take time, but with the will of the users it'll get there. I hope you can help!
If you have an event and would like to share it with other users then we'd love to know about. Alternatively, please consider liking the facebook page or following us on Twitter.