Yahoo Scoops Up Social Calendar Site

Yahoo is reaching even deeper into local communities, acquiring the social events site Upcoming.

Yahoo is reaching its search tentacles further into local communities, acquiring the social events site Upcoming Inc., the company revealed on Tuesday.

Yahoo Inc., based in Sunnyvale, Calif., posted the news on its searchblog site on Tuesday. The company didnt reveal financial details.

Upcoming was launched in 2003 by Andy Baio. Like a burgeoning number of social sites, such as Craigs List, or Yahoos own Flickr—which Yahoo acquired in May—its content is completely community-produced.

Members can use the free service to post and search events in their area, such as concerts or readings. Members can also use the site to keep calendars of their own events, to share events with friends and family, to find out what events friends are attending, or to find interesting events in their local area. Members can also display their personal calendars on their own sites.

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Yahoo pledged to build a social events platform that will integrate with its existing events offering and other areas. Although Yahoo didnt offer details, it would make sense for Upcoming to be integrated into Yahoo 360, a new community service that the company started beta testing in May. Yahoo 360 lets users share blogs, photos, music and other content with friends.

Paul Levine, general manager of Yahoo Local, also said that Yahoo will continue to support all Web users in an "open, participatory way."

The reassurance is likely aimed at those members of the blogosphere who would rather see their free, grassroots services stay out of the hands of commercial search giants such as Yahoo.

"I dont know what to think of this, since I like the idea of having good Web 2.0 applications in the [hands] of noncommercial people," wrote one poster. "Congratulations to the Yahoo team for a wise decision, but please respect the spirit of the social component of sites like this."

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For his part, Baio had nothing but good things to say about the acquisition of a site he described as always having been a "side project, fueled by passion and caffeine in the spare hours when we werent at our respective day jobs."

"Ive always had a warm and fuzzy feeling about Yahoo," he said in his blog. "Its been my browser homepage since forever. … Recently, the nostalgia has been replaced by admiration as Ive watched them making smart decisions, acquiring great companies (Flickr, anyone?), and hiring all of my friends. The end result is that theyre doing some of the most interesting work online, and I found myself linking to them more and more over the last year.

"So when [former Flickr CEO Stewart Butterfield] asked if wed be interested in coming to Yahoo, we were surprised and flattered. Its immensely satisfying for a company as interesting and high-profile as Yahoo to validate the hard work weve done, and to see the future potential for growth."

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