Ok, the time is here. I told you cats would be out of bags (announcement of Eventful’s new service), chickens would run wild (the name of the service, “Eventful Chicken”), websites would be thrown away (Eventful.com website interfaces vs. the “twitterface” twitter.com/echicken) and the world changing.
Straight from the chicken’s mouth… er… Eventful’s mouth via their press release.
SAN DIEGO, Mar. 31 — Eventful, Inc., the leading global events service, announced today that it would cease the operation of its popular Web site Eventful.com on May 1st in favor of next-generation interface Twitter, provided by Obvious Corporation of San Francisco. Twitter is a service which allows users to get instant update messages (“tweets”) from friends via SMS, instant messenger, Web, or by way of a number of custom desktop clients.
“Twitter solves all the problems we faced on the Web”, said Brian Dear, founder of Eventful. “We used to worry about uptime, instant responses, clean markup, and SEO. Now we don’t even have to check spelling. It’s such a time saver.”
The decision to use such a simple interface exclusively, a first in the industry, came on the heels of Michael Arrington’s seminal article The Usefulness of the Simple Command Line, published in January 2007. Eventful had previously experimented with an Instant Messenger interface, but the technology was shelved in favor of traditional Web site development.
Deciding to use Twitter rekindled interest in the project when the service gained significant momentum among Web 2.0 early adopters at the South By Southwest Interactive conference this month. “Everyone I talked to at South By was saying ‘tweet this’ or ‘Twitter that’,” remarked Jed Sundwall. “I thought it was some kind of band.”
Once the commitment was made, it was surprisingly quick work to adapt the Eventful API to the new platform. Development of the Twitter-based service, dubbed Eventful Chicken, took just over a week to reach the public beta stage, including event search, recommendations, watchlists, reminders, and Eventful Demand (renamed “I wish they’d come here”). The service can be previewed currently at http://twitter.com/echicken.
“Once our messages are boiled down to 140 characters, it’s hard to get anything really wrong”, said Joe Radcliff, one of the developers of Eventful Chicken. “If we can’t figure out a good response, the Chicken can always tweet about some aspect of its personal life. What would be a failing in the traditional Web world is seen as endearing on Twitter.”
Starting May 1st, Eventful.com will redirect all site traffic to the Eventful Chicken page on Twitter, and all stickers will be automatically replaced by Twitter badges for Eventful Chicken. Existing Eventful.com users will be given the month of April to make the switch. The site will feature a screencast tutorial on using the new interface, including how to befriend the Chicken, ask it for event information, and patiently await its attention.
Marketing director April Poole can’t wait to take advantage of the new platform. “Eventful Chicken already has over a thousand friends on Twitter, all hanging on every word,” she said. “That’s the kind of devoted audience a Web 2.0 property would love to have.”
About Eventful, Inc.
San Diego based Eventful, Inc. operates Eventful Chicken, the leading events chatbot on Twitter which enables its community of users to discover, promote, create and share events throughout the world. Inquiries about Eventful Chicken and Eventful.com should be referred to April Poole at [email protected]
[tags]eventful, eventful.com, twitter, echicken, twitterface[/tags]