By Harry McCracken | Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 2:16 pm
One of the niftiest things about the Web is the way it lets you consume content on your timetable–such as watching The Daily Show whenever you please rather than when Comedy Central decides to show it. But here’s a dirty little secret: The Web is also rife with stuff that happens on a particular schedule–everything from Webcasts of sporting events to news programs to auctions to chats. And a startup called Live Matrix aims to be the way the world finds out about these real-time, fully Web-based events.
I talked to Live Matrix cofounder Nova Spivack about the service–which was formally unveiled this afternoon at TechCrunch Disrupt in New York–last week. Nova’s last startup was Twine, an interesting but hard-to-explain service which was (sadly) bought by competitor Evri in March and shut down. Like Twine, Live Matrix is awfully ambitious–but it’s a lot easier to describe. In fact, its tagline–“What’s When on the Web”–does the job nicely in just five words.
There’s definitely a need that requires fulfilling here: Right now, there’s no simple and reliable way to find this stuff. In a couple of weeks, for instance, a bunch of bloggers will provide live coverage of Steve Jobs’ keynote at Apple’s WWDC event. But if the situation’s anything like every other Apple keynote, nobody’s going to provide a comprehensive list of places to go to get that coverage.
Live Matrix will let you search by keyword; it will have grids for topics such as Sports and Entertainment; it will let you RSVP and otherwise keep keep tabs on specific events; and it will use Digg-like voting so that it’s easiest to find the events that its community thinks are most interesting. The service will crawl the Web in search of events to list, but will also let sites that are hosting events submit information about them. Hosts can also use various tools that remind me a bit of the ones that EventBrite provides for real-world events.
The service is launching a private version today: Judging from my time with it, it’s still a bit rough, and doesn’t yet have information on enough events to feel comprehensive. But it’s intriguing, and worth checking out when it opens up to the public–which it plans to do sometime this summer.
Here’s a demo from the company: