Upcoming updates its event listing; leaves me wanting

Upcoming.org just updated with a major redesign. I think it’s going to accelerate the movement of people to Facebook to keep track of their favorite events (a trend that’s been accelerating lately). It’s sad, too, because this is one of the places where early adopters actually are engaging with Yahoo.

First of all, my event page is dreadfully slow. Demonstrates they haven’t tested it out on accounts that have tons of friends (they should stop trying to display thumbnails of all my friends).

But the home page that I see used to be a lot more useful, because it would categorize the kinds of events I was shown. It is dramatically different than it used to be. I hate when Web services redesign their sites so completely. It disorients users and gets them to wonder if there’s something better out there.

Unfortunately I think they redesigned because of the “friend divide.”

See, sites like Upcoming really suck until you get somewhere around 40 to 100 friends. That is when Upcoming really became useful for me, because I could see the popularity of events and also had enough active users who were bringing interesting events into my view. The problem is that most people have fewer than five friends, so their experiences sucked and the events it was bringing into their view sucked.

Unfortunately they didn’t see a great way around this: I wish I could see, for instance, Scott Beale’s incoming events. He is one of those people who always finds out about interesting events and has an interesting group of friends.

It doesn’t matter, though. The site is so slow for me that it’s almost forcing me to go to Facebook and handle my event calendar there.

What do you think?

I’m trying to setup an interview with the team to get their take on these things and find out what drove such a complete redesign and what their goals are and also why they aren’t testing out their service for top users who are trying to spread their service around.

One major thing that’ll keep me on Upcoming rather than Facebook is FriendFeed’s integration. On FriendFeed I can see when people add new events, which I find very useful to make sure my event calendar is kept up to date.