30boxes? Can't see the hype.

Om Malik and Thomas Hawk are kvelling over 30boxes, a new social calendaring web app that launched a public beta today. They both love it. I’m sure the fact that they were wined and dined by the developers pre-launch has nothing to do with it.

I recently did my own survey of the online calendar landscape in search of a calendar to coordinate scheduling between Eric and me. I settled on AirSet.

I took a look at the 30boxes sample account, and truthfully only one word comes to mind:


What am I missing?

A calendar or task application has to do one of two things: It either has to completely fill a gap allowing me to do something I’ve never been able to do before, or it has to add value to something I’m already doing without taking me completely out of my way to do it. In other words, it has to become habit.

Without any connection to either Outlook or my PDA, I can see myself using 30boxes once or twice for the novelty of it and then forgetting about it. I read my friends’ blogs in FeedDemon, why do I have to link them to a calendar to do that?

For a calendar application to be worth anything it has to either become your “trusted system” for telling where you have to be and when you have to be there, or it has to work with your trusted system. What’s the point of knowing what a friend is doing next Tuesday if you have to remind yourself to visit the calendar? There’s a reason you put a calendar on a wall or the fridge…so you see it and use when you do everyday tasks. If you shove it in the bottom of a drawer, chances are you’re not going to use it.


One response to “30boxes? Can't see the hype.”

  1. For my money, iCal and .Mac are a great solution to the calendaring issue. My husband and I balance our calendars that way. I also do my work calendar and have all of them linked together. It works great for us. I can’t imagine messing with it and finding a new solution. Although, I’m really enjoying Remember the Milk as an online ToDo list — it even synchs with iCal which is great! -llm.