Self-described as "the best place to discover what you'd rather be doing," Eventful is an interesting experiment in what is, at least to me, a new area of social networking: demand aggregation.
According to Dan O'Neill, an investor in the project, "The idea is to aggregate the collective interests of people not unlike yourself into demanding an artist, musician, author or visionary to come to an event in your area. It is a grand social experiment of making the people's choices known."
Eventful makes it possible to search for events in your area or events anywhere by a particular performer. For example, I just checked events in the Los Angeles area and discovered that tonight there will be a meeting of the Los Angeles Knitting Meetup Group.
Let's see, closer to home tonight in Ventura there's a meeting of The Ventura Brett Wagner for Congress March Meetup, while this coming Friday at the Ventura Theatre it is Toots and the Maytals. My life could be so full if I could just escape my desk.
You can search for, create and subscribe to groups, calendars and venues as well as subscribe to the schedules or particular performers. Through groups you can track what events your friends are attending, as well as let them know what you're doing.
A feature that is unique to Eventful is called "Demand." In this section of the service, you can register your demand for a speaker, performer or anyone to appear in your area. The idea is that you promote your demand and when you get enough people, you contact the performer, and hopefully the even happens (see Eventful Demand FAQs).
At the moment, the big Eventful Demand with a total of more than 400 requests over all venues is for appearances by Wil Wheaton (I had no idea who he was - turns out he played the irritating "Wesley Crusher" on the television series "Star Trek: The Next Generation").
The next biggest Demand after Wil Wheaton is for "Impeach George Bush" which stands at a humbler 39. Who knew Wheaton was more important than impeaching the president? See the Performers page for the current Demand rankings as well as register as a performer if you want exposure.
There are a few really slick features of the service. For example you can get an RSS feed for any demand as well as have your searches return Google Earth data files to provide a map of all venues found and integrate your iTunes playlist to create an automatic search for your favorite performers.
Behind the Eventful service is the Event and Venues Database (EVDB). EVDB is interesting in its own right as it offers an open API that allows EVDB to be a back-end for a number of third party applications and services (for the current roster click here).
This will be an interesting experiment to monitor. If Eventful can build a big enough following and enough Demand for events, the service could become very powerful. Dan, I've got my fingers crossed.