Yelp has added events to its listings, maps and user reviews in 10 cities — San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Seattle, San Jose, Austin, Chicago, Washington D.C., and San Diego. The feature includes a landing page for each event, a comment board and a “will you be attending” feature. Unlike Yahoo!’s upcoming.org, which is in a separate silo, the Yelp events feature is fully integrated (as Josh Lowensohn at Webware points out in his excellent and comprehensive review).
The question remains whether an organic events effort will ever get traction over pro-level event listers. In hometown San Francisco, for instance, Yelp launches with just 230 events.
Zvents leader Ethan Stock notes in his Onotech blog that “Zvents has 43,000 events in San Francisco. Granted, that’s one of our better metros — in Boston we have a mere 47,000 events, in Detroit we have a bare 13,000 events, and in Chicago, a snip at 7,900 events. Sigh. Gotta work on Chicago.”
Stock also notes that “ ‘search’ is a fairly important part of local search. If you click on that link to Zvents’ open search for San Francisco between now and noon Saturday, you’ll see that the Beastie Boys show in Berkeley that Josh mentions comes up first. Why? Because one of the several flavors of secret sauce that our dynamite search team has baked in the Zvents relevance algorithms is popularity, including both click and search query factors.
“If you didn’t know that the Beastie Boys were playing this weekend in Berkeley (I know, it happens to even the most-informed of us) Zvents will help you discover it — and many other events besides,” he says. “And if events aren’t your cup of tea? How about a quarter-million restaurants, or over a million movie showtimes?”
My take on this is each of the services will remind you that the Beastie Boys are in town. But a service like Zvents will help get you to the more obscure things like … a dance concert.