Wired Magazine‘s blog has touted Sched.org as this year’s Twitter. While Sched.org can be extremely useful, it’s uses are limited to large conferences and events. The Ajax app was coded in a fourteen hour span by Chirag Mehta and Taylor McKnight. It was originally built to track goings on at the 2008 SXSW event for attendees and has since expanded into something useful for nearly any large gathering.âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ I can tell you from my personal experiece with Sched last year at SWSX, that it is an app I will not live without this year.âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ I didn’t check any of the schedules handed out at the event, and just used sched.âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ It was awesome!
Sched lays out an event with titles highlighted by color codes so that a single screen can show the entire schedule at a big event like Macworld or Austin City Limits. Lollapalooza, for instance, used Sched to track the various events at their multi-band concert, including both online and real-life events. Yellow-Orange was for MySpace Music events, for instance, while bright yellow was for Aftershow parties or gatherings.
Hovering your mouse over any of the highlighted titles gives a popup box of details. Boxes are organized on a chart by time and date, so Day 1 of an event that starts at 9:00 AM will begin with that and work its way up in fifteen minute, half hour, or hour increments (according to the schedule) as individual events are plugged in. The site is incredibly easy to use and can be very useful, but, as I said, is limited to large events. Smaller venues, like two-night movie marathons or three-band party gigs aren’t likely to find Sched of any use.
One thing that Sched does much better than any other, however, is visualization. It gives a simple, straight-forward and very easily understood interface to visualize and manage a complex event. For event organizers or those who want to get the most out of an event when planning their attendance, Sched definitely has a strong point there.
To sum it all up, Sched is useful for large events where many activities will be running concurrently for planning and setup. Once the event is underway and attendees have locked in their plans, though, tools like Twitter are more likely to be useful for during-event broadcasts and P2P chatter.