Friday, June 02, 2006

interactive, searchable things to do in NEO

The other day I was wondering what to do in Youngstown on a Friday night. Do I check out a play at the Oakland, listen to some chamber music in the new DeYor Performing Arts Center, or watch some sports at the convocation center downtown? And maybe if I’m feeling adventurous, I can try and see something different – a visit to Alliance or nearby Kent to see something offered by the local universities.

I could look in a local paper, but it’s only focused on a small geographic section. I can’t see what’s going on at John Carroll or Hiram College without going to their individual websites.

I can go to a site that groups all the local performing arts agencies together such as city-arts.net. But when I go to the site, I have to go to each individual page for each venue. I’m lazy. That’s too much work and too much clicking with not enough comparison.

I want a website that will tell me within so many miles of my zip code, all the things I can go do in a certain proximity to my house. I want to know the cover or ticket price, and I want to find directions to the event.

What I want is something that is a mix between an online airplane ticket travel site such as Sidestep or Travelocity (which allows me to customize my searches) and the calendar function for macintosh computers (which allows me to see all my options in front of me, organized by the day of the week in color by genre).

When you load up Sidestep, you get all flights from one destination to another. You then exclude your options by price, time of flight, connections, etc. to narrow your search.

I want an online system that downloads everything to do in Northeast Ohio during the next week. Then I can exclude (depending on my mood) events that cost more than $10, sporting events, plays, mutli-week exhibitions, and events beyond a 40 mile distance from my house.

I think there are other sites out there such as citysearch, but do they perform good job of capturing the stuff to do in Northeast Ohio? I might be more willing to go to Akron and Warren for some entertainment if I knew what was going on in those cities. Alternately, all you other good people of Northeast Ohio might me more willing to come visit Youngstown if you knew all the interesting stuff we had going on here as of late. A system like this may push more and more of local venues to provide online ticket purchasing and a broader audience as well.

Maybe I would do more throughout all of Northeast Ohio if all the events could be found in one place. All I want is connectivity and convenience.

5 comments:

Mighty Mahoning said...

The best sources of information on things to do in Northeast Ohio are probably cleveland.com, the Plain Dealer's "Friday!" supplement, and Cleveland's "Scene" and "Free Times" magazines. They do a great job covering Cleveland and Akron. Unfortunately, though, most of these are print publications and their coverage doesn't really extend down into Youngstown. And, as you've probably figured out already, the Vindicator is worthless.

Anonymous said...

For a listing of events sponsored by the Fine Arts Council of Trumbull County in Warren, please go to www.trumbullarts.org. There is a link on the front page to our Summer 2006 season. All event are free and open to the public. And we'll keep working to better connect the NE region.

Another great source for information is www.coolcleveland.com.

Anonymous said...

say, i did a play at hiram last year, and it was reviewed by coolcleveland, but i was apparently not up to their cool standards (to be fair, it was the densest, most difficult [and translated] script with a really literal director and v. v. unmatched casting, quite a mess) and my acting got panned. there is a great little pub near hiram, though, and they serve fried mac n cheese.

anyway. just wanted to share.

-- brooke

will said...

Janko,

I've been lamenting the same thing for NEO for a while as well [especially local music concerts] and do what I can by posting events on
upcoming.org
The site has a nice setup and potential, and it is slowly picking up more users and events.

Although it's far from perfect, I'd encourage you to use it, or create
another collaborative effort.

David said...

Janko,
First, I appreciate that you have found and posted a link and articles from JamBrain.com, and I have really enjoyed looking through your site for the first time (I apologize for that).
When my son, Scot and I designed JamBrain, it was with all the same criteria you suggested -- albeit only for live local music -- with expandable info (e.g. Google maps) at a click.
Currently, the Vindicator (which is clearly not 'worthless') offers the best compendium of all types of activities, but a short list of activity-specific sites (similar to JamBrain) might satisfy your need.
I would be quite happy to continue this discussion with you further.