Researching a piece on InfoCard, the identity metasystem and the laws of identity and catching up on Kim Cameron's IdentityBlog, I spotted a familiar name; there are some people I keep coming across in the industry and Sam Sethi is one of them. Tracking him down led me to another calendar site, www.eventful.com. Again it's metadata slice and dice, with an emphasis on venues as much as events, so I can see what's on at the Mountain View Computer History Museum. Interesting, but unsatisfying. The search does better on CA than California - I think they should be a synonym. I'd like to see more grouping within results. It comes up with 4330 events in California for March; I'd like to be able to explore those by week or day or geographical region or event type or other finer grain information rather than just sorting them and paging through them a dozen at a time. There's a good mix of events though it's rather flooded with recurring events at Borders & Barnes and Noble. The tag cloud on the front of the site makes it look teen-oriented, I'm not sure what criteria the 'Sort by relevance' uses and my impression is 'interesting information, not enough tools '. When I'm browsing rather than searching, I still need to be able to narrow things down. I can't quite find the kind of events I want; the tag cloud is a mix of high level and low level and I suppose the fact that it doesn't make it easy to find the broad groupings of events I'm after may mean that the site doesn't have events of the kind I'm after (neat, mainly technology-oriented things to do in California in the first half of March).
For any big conference or product launch, Microsoft's PressPass area for journalists will have a virtual press room with press releases, Webcasts or transcipts of the keynotes and other useful information. I spotted something new in the VPR for the recent RSA conference: a blogroll for several of the Microsoft teams and spokespeople who were presenting at the conference. There's a huge amount of information in the blogs that people at Microsoft write; nice to see them being presented as a source.