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30boxes: it's all coming together

30boxes.gifLast month, 30boxes added e-mail integration to their online calendar tool. You forward the e-mail to their add [at] address and whatever is in the subject line is used as the "one box" event information (e.g. "Birthday Party May31 5:30pm tag birthday"). Handy and essential, but not much of a "Wow!" factor for me.

More recently, 30boxes added event mapping support. If you add a location to an event, which they make pretty easy, it will mark it on a Google Map and display the weather forecast. The map nerd in my scores this with a wow factor, even if it isn't as useful as e-mail integration. Between the two it means that you can pull up a calendar event, check the e-mail that started it, look at where the event is, and even find out what the weather will be like when you get there -- pretty much everything that I might want to check prior to an event. You can even get the same mapping support with events from your calendar that have location data.

30boxes has worked with from the start and they keep coming up with more and more features between the two that increase my usage of both. I've signed up for a Google Calendar but 30boxes has held my attention. Google Calendar is a good Google product, but it does things the Google way. In order to support public calendars, Google crawls the entire Web and gathers every calendar it can find. That's great if I quickly want to find the Redskins' football schedule, but the Google way precludes great synergistic integrations like 30boxes and I'm sure the GCal + GMail integration will be fantastic, but with 30boxes is better targeted at a Web-savvy audience.

Comments (2)

bp Author Profile Page:

I don't understand your "google way" comment - yes, you can search for calendar content, but you can also drop in a specific feed, as you might do with your events, for instance. What's the difference that you're implying.

I need to re-check out 30boxes. I've been using Gcal for most of the time since launch, and it has boatloads of bugs, but it's still usable enough, where I found 30boxes to be missing enough stuff to be a non-starter.


The difference I am noting is that Google Calendar will never ask "what's your account?" nor will it promote features of those services. Instead, as you note, Google Calendar wants you to copy the URL of a feed. I think the 30boxes approach is easier and provides more awareness of functionality.

So by Google way, I mean that it will only integrate with other services generically, except for other Google services. By Google way I also mean that Google considers the primary UI interaction to be search, which isn't always best (e.g. Google Video, which I think is terrible).

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