GenuineVC David Beisel's Perspective on Digital Change

September 22, 2005

One of my first posts ever on this blog championed EVDB, a search engine for local events and venues. In it, I wrote, “I am looking forward to the day when I can set up an RSS feed of my favorite independent-label musicians, and have EVDB notify me when they are coming to town at a small local venue. Very powerful.” In the months since that was posted, I have been disappointed in the lack of content available in the system during the beta, and have neglected to use the service at all as of late.

This morning, I read Rags’ blog entry about PassAlong Networks’ newest offering, OnTour, and downloaded the application. This program automatically scans my hard-drive for all of the music files that I own, builds a directory of artists which I like from those files, and then presents me with a list of the those acts’ upcoming concerts in my local area. I’ve thought about and talked about an idea like this one informally before, and I am very excited to see that someone actually created the service. You can try it here.

Of course, the software isn’t perfect yet. For example, it has some difficulty string matching (“Ambulance LTD” vs “Ambulance Ltd”). And I wish that I could set up an RSS feed or alert system to notify me when new acts I am interested are booked rather than me having to fire up the application every few weeks. But, for now, color me a happy user (as well as those bands like The Frames, BMRC, and Michael Penn which I now will go see play).

  • http://mp.blogs.com Michael Parekh

    Did you read the fine print? Any malware/adware/spyware in return for this wonderful service? Curious…Thanks.

  • http://david@genuinevc.com David Beisel

    Michael,

    I am very embarrassed to say that I didn’t look for the fine print before downloading the service as the website seemed “legitimate” to me. A faux pas, I completely realize. Upon further investigation, I couldn’t find any fine print communicating the company’s privacy policy and related terms & conditions. Subsequently, I tried to contact the CEO Dave Jaworski, the Ethics & Standards officer Scott Lewis, and the PR firm responsible for their communications about the issue, and have not heard any response after a week.

    This silence leads me to believe that there is a red flag here, and that perhaps the service is not to be trusted. Though I did not and have not received any negative spyware notifications from my Microsoft AntiSpyware beta alert service while running the app, I am now planning on uninstalling and refraining from using PassAlong Networks OnTour service until I am able to feel confident that it safe to use.

    ~ David

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