Friday, August 12, 2005

More Thoughts on Events, Media, People

I've made the claim before that events are news, and I've implied that Zvents is going after the media angle of the whole landscape. Peter Caputa is blogging about when, and how, Zvents and WhizSpark will collide; I'll lay out a few components and he can draw his own conclusions.

First, check out this above-the-fold Sunday Merc from a few weeks ago:

merc news events tagged

I should just say "Events = News" and let the image do the talking. More or less the entire selling point of this Sunday paper is four key events: The Grand Prix in San Jose (55,000 attendees expected) The Gilroy Garlic Festival (122,000 attendees last year) a jobs fair (paid placement advertising, no doubt really profitable for the Merc) and some kid-friendly events. The Merc is one of the more important papers in America - 268,000 circulation - and all the most important things that they can think of to splash across the front of their Sunday paper are events.

Is it any wonder that we're interested in this space? The web provides the opportunity for phenomenal search tools, personal managment tools, near-effortless communication with your friends about items of mutual interest, an unlimited volume of content, and incredibly cheap distribution to the end-user. Once the nitty-gritty process of "what to do" starts getting reinvented - the first task on our list - it's a few hard but short steps to a drastic rethink of local media, with implications numbering in the billions of dollars of ad spend.

So here's my map of the events space - I could have done this a number of different ways, but this is today's way of thinking about it + 10 minutes in PowerPoint.

events landscape

Zvents is going to try to make the media connection to people about public events. Peter is trying to help event promoters/venues connect to people. His revenue model is primarily direct, with some indirect; mine is primarily indirect (ads) with some direct. And since the media side is so huge, where we will likely first collide is somewhere right around Evite, which is the management of personal events. I don't find that space interesting in and of itself, but when someone starts adding a public event to their personal calendar and forwarding it to their friends; or creating a "Joe's 49ers game party" on the back of the public event of a 49ers game, I'm solidly into that territory. And when Joe starts blogging about both the 49ers game and his party, it starts to smell an awful lot like WhizSpark's "local bloggers promote events" model.

Fascinating times.

Closing question: Where's Nick Denton in all of this?

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