The events listings site What’s On In Brum has had an overhaul so I had a quick look. The listings are pretty normal, allowing you to search by day and type and to see what’s happening right now across a range of areas. The Venue Guide is pretty slick, giving you an aggregation based on information put in by promoters along with a Google Map. It’s nice to see some Facebook integration although it only adds links to the site on your profile rather than events to your calendar. A bit more work needed there but it’s a start. Hopefully adoption of the iCalendar data exchange standard (meaning you can add info to your own calendar with one click) is in the offing. THSH and Facebook themselves offer this and once you start using it it’s very useful.
No RSS. At all. C’mon, this is 2007 people. Gimme a custom feed based on search terms please!
A really nice feature is the Flyer Wall which runs down the side of each page. Hovering over the listings shows you a flyer and clicking through lets you effectively download it for your own use. I can see this being very useful for my own gig listings blog and anything that enables people to share the knowledge is a good thing.
There’s no indication who’s behind this other than the fact that promoters who have a TheTicketSellers.co.uk account can sign in with the same details implying there’s some cross-ownership here. This might not seem a big deal for a consumer-facing site but if they want to build up relationships with the wide range of promoters in the city then answering the “who the hell are you?” question would be a good idea. Needless to say I think some kind of blog would be good for this.
On the whole the site, while not that revolutionary, looks much better and appears to work well. What concerns me though isn’t particularly specific to What’s On In Brum but to the whole events listings industry where the onus is on the promoter to input the same information into numerous sites. Given the iCalendar standard is pretty well established it should be easy to have promoters put their information in one place and have the sites subscribe to it ala RSS? Or am I living in a tech utopia?