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Launched in 2003 and "sunsetted" last year, Upcoming.org was the original art and tech events community. Let's bring it back.
Launched in 2003 and "sunsetted" a decade later, Upcoming.org was the original art and tech events community.1,787 backers brought it back from the dead.
Launched in 2003 and "sunsetted" a decade later, Upcoming.org was the original art and tech events community.1,787 backers brought it back from the dead.
1,787 backers pledged $104,983 to help bring this project to life.

Upcoming Is Back

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In September 2003, I opened Upcoming.org to the public. And now, 4,941 days later, four years after Yahoo shut it down and deleted everything, Upcoming.org is back — thanks to you. Go try it out, and feel free to spread the word:

https://upcoming.org/

If you used the beta, I recommend signing out and signing back in, which will update the list of people you follow. If no friends are showing up, or you just aren't active on Twitter, don't worry: I'll be adding an option to follow users tomorrow.

After signing in, I recommend setting your city by clicking "Add City" on the homepage. You can combine these various filters to show you, for example, all your friends' events in a city, the most popular events across the site, or recently-ended events that you watchlisted.

This video shows how it works:

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Day 1

The to-do list is very long, and you can see some of the high-priority items on the homepage sidebar. If you want to see what's changed since last week, feel free to read the commit log for details. It's been a busy week, and there's so much more I want to do.

But this is the first time I've really felt confident sharing Upcoming with the world. I'm already finding interesting new events, recommending them to others, and hearing the same from backers and beta testers.

Neven Mrgan, a designer and game developer here in Portland, runs a monthly movie series called Match Cut Movie Club — currently the most popular upcoming event on Upcoming in Portland — and he just messaged me, excitedly telling me a bunch of people bought tickets because of Upcoming. "We usually only get sales when we announce," he said. "People don't just discover it on their own."

And I haven't even announced Upcoming publicly yet

So it's all happening. And that makes me really happy. It's a promising start.

Indie Life

Last week, I went to see Mule Design's Mike Monteiro speak in Portland about design and its role in fighting fascism. After the talk, we went out for dinner and I told him I was about to relaunch Upcoming. After we chatted a bit, he asked, "Would you sell it again?"

My reaction was visceral. I said, no, absolutely not. I did the Kickstarter project exactly so that I would never have to sell. I wrote every line of code myself, taught myself a new framework and programming language, so that I could run it independently on my own forever if I had to.

Even if Upcoming never makes another dime, I'm well-equipped to run it independently until I die, or I suppose, until literally nobody is left using it.

If I'd hired contractors to work on it with me, it's quite likely I wouldn't be able to maintain their code. When the funds run out, I'd be forced to find ways of funding it to keep it running. And I didn't want to take even that small risk.

But I feel terribly about how long it took, and especially how difficult it was for me to communicate delays when I didn't have time to work on it, but I wouldn't have done the project any other way.

Doing this Kickstarter project afforded me the resources to build it myself, and that independence is at the root of this project. And it showed me that the demand was there for something like Upcoming to exist again. I wouldn't have had the time or motivation to build it again without you, period.

Profound Thanks

In its first incarnation, we heard stories of how people used Upcoming to meet new people, make new friends, and feel less alone in the world. People met their partners at events they discovered through the community. There are probably Upcoming kids out there now.

So, let’s do it again. I hope this becomes something you all use to find your own community, discover fun and thoughtful and interesting things to do around you, and hopefully, make new friends and lasting relationships.

If you find any bugs, issues, or feedback, feel free to leave a comment here or, for the tech-savvy, file an issue on GitHub. I'll clear out the lingering issues there over the next few days. 

Patrons: I'll be in touch with you early next week to collaborate on your city and site-wide patronage.

Developers and designers: If you're itching to make changes, excellent. Pull requests are welcome, and I'm pulling together instructions for getting up and running with development on the GitHub project.

Everyone else: I'm working on a little surprise for your Kickstarter backer badges on your profiles, likely next week. Stay tuned.

Thanks to each and every one of you.

 

Samuel Clay, Sam Grover, and 28 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Andy Baio 3-time creator on April 8

      Hey, Ruben! There was a discussion about this below with the rationale: alternative authentication methods are planned, by for now, it's Twitter only.

    2. Ruben Arakelyan (deleted) on April 8

      Great that the site is back! Is it possible to get an account without signing up through Twitter?

    3. Andy Baio 3-time creator on April 2

      Upcoming uses FourSquare's venue database, which is pretty thorough. Make sure you filled out the city field before doing a search.

      For private venues (like house shows) or brand new businesses, they won't be in there. You can't add a venue just yet, but it's high on the to-do list. You can follow the issue here:
      https://github.com/upcoming/upcoming-www/issues/22

    4. Lee Joramo on April 2

      How do I add a venue?

    5. Andy Baio 3-time creator on April 1

      Greg: D.C. is a known issue, digging into it: https://github.com/upcoming/upcoming-www/issues/25

      Didn't know about Charlotte, I'll figure it out ASAP. Sorry about the issue.

    6. Greg Goddard on April 1

      Congrats, Andy! Love seeing the site back up and running. Any reason I don't seem to be able to add Washington DC and Charlotte, NC as cities?

    7. Rob Beschizza on March 31

      Congrats, Andy! A cosmic act of repair and hugely inspirational at that.

    8. Nelson Minar on March 31

      Congratulations Andy! I know how challenging this project is and am thrilled you've succeeded.

    9. Andy Baio 3-time creator on March 31

      Yes! I plan to let old-school users search for their old accounts, associate it to their new profile, and link to the archives. For performance and schema reasons, it doesn't make sense to try to import the 7M+ old events into the new database, but I can definitely link the old and new together.

    10. Chris Rosa on March 31

      Yay! Any plans to tie the main site to the archive in some way? So much history over there!

    11. Andy Baio 3-time creator on March 30

      YES, YES, YES. Thank you so much for this feedback—it's a laundry list of all the major UX issues I didn't get to yet. I promise you that I'll be getting to them shortly, they irk me as much as they bother you.

      To answer your specific questions, as the site works now:

      * "Following" is the list of events that are recommended or attended by someone you follow on Upcoming. Unfortunately, I'm only showing the person who added the event, so it's totally not clear. High on the priority list to fix.

      * "My Events" is the list of events you created, are attending, or recommending.
      * When you click "Recommend" or "I'm Going," the event is added to My Events and you're listed as attending or recommending on the events page. No, it's not live. Requires a refresh. Will fix.
      * Right now, it's only showing events in the city. I plan on adding a "nearby" option that switches to radial searches.
      * The Places page, right now, is a placeholder of popular places. It just shows the top 20 places ordered by the number of future events descending.
      * The venue database is Foursquare, the city database for adding events is Google, and the city/location database for filters is from Mapzen. I'll add credit.

      Thanks for all this, hugely appreciated.

    12. Missing avatar

      Ted Lemon on March 30

      This is gorgeous! Thanks!

    13. Jon Wilson on March 30

      Congrats! Can't wait to see this grow! I like how fast everything feels.

      Feedback:
      1) Make it obvious for finding something nearby:
      - Leverage html5 geolocation
      - Provide a Map view
      2) Explore tab
      - make it clear that you're on the Explore tab (some kind of shading to highlight it)
      - What does "Following" mean? My assumption is it's people I'm following but I don't recognize the people.
      - Is "My Events" Events I've created, am going to, or recommend? (edit: it's "I'm going")
      - What happens when I click "Recommend"?
      - What happens when I click "I'm Going?" (edit, it adds to "My Events")
      - When adding a city is it literally just showing events in that City or is there a search radius around that City? For example, if I put in Oakland but not Berkeley would I never see a Berkeley event? Does this mean you have to put in every city in the Bay Area? Perhaps the solution to this is allowing people to add areas (Bay Area) or selecting a radius when adding a city.
      3) Places tab
      - Highlight that you're on it
      - What's the logic behind what shows up here and will people be able to change that logic? It looks like it's sorted in descending order by the number of Events. Is it future events or all events?
      - this would be the ideal spot for the map
      4) Add New Event
      - need validation to make end date after start date, end time after start time
      - ideally switch to calendar date selector for start date and end date
      - start time and end time are a bit fiddly, maybe drop downs?
      - It's not clear what the venue database is but I wasn't able to find one
      5) Misc.
      - Terms and Privacy pages are 404

    14. Lance Ivy on March 30

      Congrats, this is quite an accomplishment! Looking good.

    15. Andy Baio 3-time creator on March 30

      Thank you!

    16. Olly S on March 30

      Better late than never, as they say! Congrats on pushing it out to the world. :)

    17. Andy McMillan on March 30

      Congratulations, buddy. Really proud of you xx