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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

XOXO Founder Andy Baio is Bringing Back

Posted by Alison Hallett on Wed, May 7, 2014 at 1:14 PM

If you've heard Andy Baio's name, it's likely because he's a co-founder of Portland's high-profile art-and-tech festival XOXO. But Baio's incredibly well-regarded in the tech world—he was CTO at Kickstarter, and he founded the community-curated events site back in 2003.

Baio sold Upcoming to Yahoo in 2005; Yahoo didn't do much with it, and the site was eventually shuttered. But now, after buying back the domain from Yahoo, he's bringing it back: This morning he launched a Kickstarter to fund the rebuilding of Upcoming as a social, user-curated events site, plus a permanent event archive.

He explains:

Like many of the people that used it, I miss Upcoming. Nothing's come to replace it in the years since, and I have the same problems that motivated me to build it a decade ago—I'm missing interesting events in my city and struggling to discover interesting events when I travel. I don't know what my friends are going to, and I lose track of the events I hear about on a regular basis.

I want to bring back Upcoming, rebuilding it for the modern era using tools and platforms that weren't available at the time I started it.

And he promises not to sell it again.

The Kickstarter funded almost instantaneously—it hit its $30,000 goal in 90 minutes, which means we can indeed expect to see the return of I probably shouldn't even be blogging about this. In his Kickstarter pitch, Baio writes:

Entirely curated by the community, Upcoming surfaced weird and wonderful events that usually fell under the radar of traditional event listings from newspapers and local weeklies.

Yes, that's right: With this new project, Baio is trying to drive the final nail into the coffin of my obsolescence as an alt-weekly arts and culture editor. Quit trying to kill print, The Internet! Haven't you done enough?!

Just kidding. (Kind of.) I know Baio socially, and he strikes me as someone who is interested in the right sort of problems. I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.

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