A few days ago, Google Calendar introduced a new feature called Calendar ‘Galley’ that contains a variety of event listings from the likes of Atlantic Records, Cordless Recordings, Disney, Eventful, JamBase, Orbitz, the NBA, Netflix, The New York Times, TLC, Wcities, and Zvents. This makes it easy for one to find an event and add it to the Google calendar. This includes events such as NBA games (hot right now), Netflix DVD rental availability dates, events related to the US 2008 elections, as well as events from eventful and Zvents.
Thomas Claburn in Google Introduces Calendar ‘Galley’ points out that Google characterizes its event listings as “as an incredibly plugged-in friend who helps you remember all the hottest events, or that personal concierge you always dreamed of hiring.” Thomas notes that, according to Hitwise, Google Calendar gets the highest U.S. visitor market share. Also, Google is the leading online calendar, writes Elinor Mills in a rather long-winded Google Calendar colors a CNET reporter’s day.
While Google has taken a step in the right direction, it is by no means complete. With several notable competitors such as MSN Calendar, Scrybe, Yahoo Calendar, 30 Boxes, and Kiko, what must Google Calendar do to leave the others behind?
First of all, Google Calendar should purchase Eventful, Zvents, or another similar event website. Eventful and Zvents are leading events websites that enable its users to discover, promote, share and create events. For example, Eventful has nearly 4 million events taking place around the world, from concerts and sports to singles events and political rallies. While users could add events of a personal or private group nature to Zvents and eventful, Google Galley just lists the events, and there still is no good integration between the event, calendar, and mapping.
By purchasing one of these companies, Google Calendar should be able to better integrate events with calendar and mapping. For example, ideally a user should be able to search for events and find relevant events by category, location, and time and add events of interest to the Google Calendar, and perhaps even forward the calendar information to friends. This can only be done in limited fashion today.
Google Calendar will easily bring additional publicity to event sharing. Those running events would have a better medium to advertise their event with Google. Now, integrate that with advertising, mapping, and calendar, and Google Calendar will be a real winner!