Passport and @plancastIf you read Techmeme then perhaps you saw the posts today concerning the challenges of social event sharing and the meta commentary upon the article from Plancast CEO Mark Hendrickson.

Here’s the thing…

I love Plancast.

I have used Plancast hundreds if not thousands of times. Even for my own personal Plancast I use it a lot (over 200 Plancast events so far) because I travel a lot. In fact, I presently have 14 events on my Plancast for 2012. http://plancast.com/qthrul

To put it simply, Plancast is a serendipity service. Serendipity is my top use case.

For example…

When I go out to the West coast there is always something plancasted (verb?) that I can isolate and refine as evening events to consider. So many people put up event content there that I am bound to find something to occupy my evenings.

SxSW is an annual pilgrimage for me. This year I am doing another pre-SxSW 2012 meal in Austin and posted this: http://plancast.com/p/7p87/lunch-50-pre-sxsw-meetup where I invited a few people I knew might be interested. Now there are more than a dozen that are showing up organically. How cool is that?

You see… I’ve tried upcoming, meetup, eventbrite, facebook, random startups doing similar things, etc… Unfortunately, each one tends to be a silo that makes event discovery a bit of a chore or simply a closed environment to itself.

Plancast makes it easy for me to just select a city and see what has been created or imported from these other services. I allow Plancast to consume all these other services so that I can have one easy to share stream of planned events and activities. And yet…

Bad touch.Wisdom of the (M)asses

I scrolled down to the comments (never scroll down to the comments) on the primary TechCrunch article and noted a listing of critiques. In no specific order or weighting:

Lacking:

  • Personal brand account or Event Series account to share events

  • Integration with Facebook

  • Calendar separation and sharing

  • Mobile support

  • Business model

  • No Maybe or Share options

  • Vertical integration to shorten event registrations

General:

  • Didn’t listen to users (no idea what this means)

  • Difficult to search for and add events

  • Competes with Facebook

  • Should suggest who to follow (SUL)

  • You should be more like [insert spamvertized other startup URL]

Here’s the thing… even if you were to digest all of this with an insightful eye there would still be the elephant in the room: Facebook. If you pull back and look at the summaries, most of the comments digest down to saying a consumer web startup service should be more like Facebook. Yet, if that was the case — if we all had Facebook — would there be any consumer web startups? Fascinating.

So, I’ll repeat again: Never scroll down to the comments.