Torn between the big G and 30 boxes

30 boxes feed

    rssLinkList(‘http://30boxes.com/rss/50404/Jasontoal/410a2481b0473906b1842b9b2626af6e/1/’,5,false,false);

google calendar feed

    rssLinkList(‘http://www.google.com/calendar/feeds/jason.toal@gmail.com/public/basic’,5,false,false);

Yes it’s true, believe it or not I’m calendaring the web 2.0 way. That is, sharing and making available all kinds of personal information about me and my whereabouts on the web to whomever cares enough to look. I suspect it will come in handy for making plans with friends and family etc. but really, I am just trying to get my life organized, particularly my summer as I’m heading into thesis writing mode and need to keep a very tightly managed schedule. NOT my speciality. But there are a couple of new services I hope will make this process less painful.

First some context. The first thing that you may find unusual is the very idea of sharing your personal schedule on the web, and I couldnt agree more. Why would anyone want to do that? This is more common than you would think these days, and sites such as meetup.com and upcoming.org have built up large user bases just because they provide the means to share upcoming events. Typically this serves the purposes of inviting/luring others that may be interested. The benefit to sharing this information, is that you may actually pique the interest of total strangers but those that have a genuine interest in the subject of the event, so this works really well if you are trying to start a club or bring together all the ‘railroad model builders‘ in your town for instance. Yes, the information is typically ‘public’, but in the case of each of the tools I mention, that is always optional.

A new breed of web calendars are taking things a bit further in that they are (potentially) useful to input and manage all your personal events as well, aiming to provide users a means to organize their lives. Outlook killers is really what they are, which is one of the reasons I am so happy. 🙂 see.. happy. I dont know, maybe Mac users already have some awesome calendaring tool going on, but for these of us shackled to PC’s this is a godsend.

Last Month 30boxes came on the scene as announced here , and I have been blissfully adopting it as my new PIM solution. I cant even begin to get into the many features, and honestly do not want to as they are covered so well by others. Suffice it to say, its cool, its shareable, it has RSS and AJAX comin out the yingyang and an elegant and fully featured interface. (but not TOO fully)

Today of course, all the buzz is about the big G’s calendar solution. Some announcements here, here and here that give this some context in terms of the bigger picture, a la the battle w/ micro*****, but although tempting, i’ll refrain from commenting on THAT. (already running out of steam on this post as it is).

The fact is that Im a big fan of google services, too much so sometimes. At first look, this seems to be no exception. It too is cool, shareable, AJAX and RSS driven, clean elegant etc etc etc. but it presents the biggest problem for me which is user adoption. Which service will I give my clicks too? Sure the integration with gmail is nice, desirable even, but do I really want to commit ALL my interactions to the big G? Isnt there room for the little guy to get in there too? At this point it almost doesnt matter as I can easily copy information from one to the other verrry easily, the way it should be. Of course if my wordpress aggregator liked google feeds better I would be more conflicted, so for now 30 boxes wins! yay!