Yahoo continues its focus on beefing up its local community content and coverage by acquiring Upcoming.org an event planning site. This acquisition should give Yahoo more local event content information. Upcoming.org is an LA-based company that depends on user generated local event content. So users can post free listings about a wide range of events from local rock shows to local park BBQ’s. According to an AP report, Yahoo plans to keep the two sites separate initially but eventually merge all of the Upcoming.org capabilities into Yahoo’s site to strengthen the local community content base.
I think this is a solid move by Yahoo and supports its initiative to get into the content generation business. This acquisition will allow them to generate content without having to pay anyone to author it. It also is in-line with Yahoo and Google putting a strong emphasis on mastering the local search arena. I could also see Yahoo using the information in an event calendar in its Yahoo Mail product that will soon receive a face-lift and will resemble the functionality of Outlook but in a web email service. The Tribune with its solid journalism base and abundance of local area content and has created its own event engine that has been in operation for several years on it’s local entertainment sites like Metromix, Orlando CityBeat and Merge Digital. Presumably, with the acquisition of Upcoming.org, Yahoo will attempt to compete with these and other local entertainment and events sites.
For Yahoo’s perspective by Paul Levine, GM of Yahoo! Local check out Yahoo’s Search blog. For the blogosphere’s buzz on the acquisition check out Web 2.0 Central, Chad Dickerson's blog, Nate Koechley's blog, Jeffery McManus, cdharrison.com and Kevin Burton's Feed blog. Additionally, check out what the washingtonpost.com and MSNBC.com are reporting about the acquisition.