Social conference app Conferize releases a new version

Yahoo pulled the plug on Upcoming, the app I had used for years to track conferences and to socialize with contacts I met at conferences, at least in a minimal way. After Andy Baio and other founders left in the lateĀ ’00s it became an unloved orphan. But I like what it did, and I always expected that it, or someone else, would crack the code on how to make events more social.
I signed up to try the new version of Conferize, and it falls short of my aspirations, but I like what it has done. It retains a strong social feel compared to others, like Lanyard (which seems to be shouting, for some reason).
Here you see the landing page, which features my followers and those I follow on the service — relatively modest numbers at present. Then to the right I have selected conferences I am following — again, a small selection.
The next screen shows details associated with my friend Mike Butcher, of TechCrunch. I guess we would have bumped into each other if I had gone to Next Berlin this year. At the bottom you see recent activity at the Bitcoin London event, which I suppose is being pulled from Twitter via the use of a distinctive hashtag (what I call a beacon).
mik butcher
Below is the landing page of a specific conference, the Social Now conference in Lisons last April. Yeah, that’s my bald head next to Pedro Custodio, and old friend. You can see the speakers and network of attendees and those following the event, as well.
social now
Bottom line
I plan to try Conferize out for a few months at least and see if I can get some of my pals to sign on as well. I hope it adds a way for me to post a badge with planned conferences on my blog, too.
One thing I think is completely wrong is the tool’s orientation toward creating a new conference entry. It’s based around a business model of sharing conference organizers for use of the system. That’s fine, but as a conference goer I would like to be able to have a simple and lightweight experience. Now I am confronted with options for setting up the conference that are obviously meant for the organizer. So I simply did not create one. That’s bad, because I shouldn’t have to wait for the conference organizer, and it blocks the virality of the tool’s use. I bet Conferize will have to rethink that.
Conferize may turn out to be a replacement for Upcoming, as long as it solves the “new conference” entry problem.