Thanks upcoming for another example of how to not work the smart way.


So, the new upcoming is there. I have not played around a lot with it much, but already miss the lists as i use it for the overview I actually need.

But then other than that I am very happy about their launch. Because they will make a PERFECT new entry for my presentation around “a european view”.

As an old school user you can get for free a tshirt with a nice logo to smooth the transition to the Yahoo ID system. Readers of this blog probably already guessed it: If you are in the states.

Shipping costs are high, I am fully aware of that – but I am around the corner at the moment as in SF. I would also be really happy with just a sticker. There are more than enough users in Germany, we would even organize something to GET them delivered.

Yes even pay postage and DO the delivery in German on our own. Now again, as usual, we get rejected and pissed off. Good job.

But why should upcoming care at all?

Well, let’s start with that I have been pushing all of my peers to use upcoming in Europe.
Explain how to use them.
Suggest how to make use of them as a promotional tool.
In German and in English.

I though about writing a longer introduction for beginners – in German and English.

I am what you call an evangelist. One of those you actually love to have.
And I get frustrated just because somebody has not done their homework because there are smart ways to deal with this.

This sounds grumpy but actually I am loving it. Because those are always great as “how not to do it” and as I said it will make a perfect slide. :)

Somebody with suggestions for a more useful service who is willing to think before they do stuff?

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8 Responses to “Thanks upcoming for another example of how to not work the smart way.”

  1. Andy Baio says:

    I’m really disappointed by your post. We spent *months* improving our international support in the newest release for users exactly like you, fixing the flaws of the existing metro system and replacing it with something that works well throughout Europe. Would we do that if we didn’t care about Europe?

    We *love* our international users, and we made the hard decision not to ship overseas because it simply wasn’t in our budget. We’d already paid for hundreds of free shirts, but European shipping costs were more than the shirts themselves. It’s not because we don’t love you; it’s because we don’t have unlimited funds. You can think that we don’t care or that we don’t think before we act, but it’s not true.

  2. Nicole says:

    Andy thanks for proving that you did not understand the point.

    As I said, I have not played around much with the version yet, thus I cannot judge how this is working out better than before or not.

    What I was pointing at is that we are fully aware of the problem of shipping cost – but there are ways around it. If you try. Off the top of my head I know at least 20 Germans who have been coming to the Web 2.0 Expo and would be able – and willing – to come back and take shirts with them and send them locally.

    I would know many other europeans as well. It is the either or thing which annoys me. It is not about shipping to all or not (the version you choose).

    Andy, I am not dismissing that you try. There have been problems with umlauts for example. But there are many basic things still there which are as annoying, so forgive me that I do not fall on my knees in appreciation. Example: Sat, 5/19 is not a date. 19 is not a month. :)

    I will work with it once I am back from the states and then talk about features, kay.

  3. Hi there, I’m another Upcoming employee.

    I hear you about the various problems with internationalization. You’re right that we don’t prioritize simple things like date formats as much as we should, and perhaps that looks like carelessness to you.

    I’m from Canada and there it is unthinkable to launch without support for multiple national markets. It’s probably similar in Europe. But here in the USA, the local market is so big, one usually waits to achieve domestic success before internationalizing.

    International time and date is also a very highly rated suggestion over here :

    This is one tool we are using to help overcome our domestic biases. Tell your friends to vote for this suggestion and it will be easier for us to justify the development costs.

    About the t-shirts — that’s an interesting suggestion and the truth is, we simply didn’t think of it. It might be too late to reverse our decision, given the number of applications we received already, but I’m sure we’ll try harder next time.

    Anyway, I hope you continue to find Upcoming useful (and even better for you in the near future, I hope).

  4. Tim says:

    Wonderful web2.0 – “But here in the USA, the local market is so big, one usually waits to achieve domestic success before internationalizing.” Think about that the domestic success leads often to a international failure, cause of cultural differences. Whats the timeline? Step 1 launching (t1). Step 2 success in the USA (t+1 year). Step 3 Internationalizing (t+1.5 years). Step 4 failure (t+2 years). Step 5 Redesign and adaption to cultural and market differences (t+2.5 years). Step 6 Final failure cause the features are no longer up-to-date (t+3 years). Wonder why yahoo are behind google an many others?

  5. Nicole says:

    Neil, Andy, I appreciate you taking the time to go through the blogs and reacting on the comments about the launch. You may not like it very much being called out on that, but it should not surprise you that this behaviour is exactly what “we” get all the time.

    I understand the part about the voting for features but quite frankly, something basic like the date display does not belong on the list of things I should vote for. It is so so much basic thing to do.

    As for the market – well. Let me just send you to your own data analyst who should be able to provide you with interesting numbers. Especially the one on statistics where you can look into if the market you are looking at really is this big, given the fact that this is still very geeky.

    I’d also advise you on trying to find out how much of your user base is non US – and I mean this in a qualified way as in how much do these people actually do in regard with the plattform.

    And Tim is of course right. Notice that I did not say “make it all” but make it smart.

    “We did not think about it” is exactly part of the problem. There was a presentation at the web 2 expo where it was about something similar and the answer was “we do not care. and (insert some other fake reasons here)”.

    Andy calls on it being not fair that with all the new support for international users (which btw?) I call on this. I am sorry that I expect basics to be covered before I get bells and whistles …

  6. I’m based in London and was also annoyed with the US/Canada only Tshirt promotion… not so much because they were only shipping to the US/Canada… what they do with their budget is entirely up to them… but I tell them that I’m based in London, yet they choose to use space on my Upcoming homepage to tell me about a promotion in which I cannot participate. That’s either mean or pretty unsophisticated.

    The other thing I’ve noticed with the Upcoming relaunch is that the Upcoming badge I have on my blog seems to be broken, and I can’t find any sign of the badges on the new site… have they disappeared/been decommissioned etc.?

    Sometimes it’s the little things…

  7. Nicle says:

    It is always the little things. :)

    The badge thing is to be found here, I think they are working on it.

    It would also be nice if they would be working on the “little thing” that this thing also starts only displaying events I attend (or at least lets me choose it).

    So far I am hating the overview page and the more old style on my page is ‘broken’ due to my travel size laptop – everytim I add a table like this I do enter spaces as non breaking spaces. This way sth like May 23 does not result in

  8. Franz Patzig says:

    I left my address in the states but no t-shirt yet. I was the first who switched and the first who wrote in about the redesign German. I think I should get two :)