Sean O’Connor is a classic Bostonian. He’s a young, tech savvy, sports enthusiast with a story to tell and a dream to make something. Well, somethings actually. He put his film production on hold a few months ago to build TheBostonCalendar.com, a website dedicated to helping Boston reddit users find cheap or free events around the city.
About 6 moths ago, O’Connor came across a post on r/Boston in which an anonymous user was simply wondering where to find cheap things to do in Boston. He and (friend and co-founder) Saurav Bhattacharyya discussed the idea of a website that was built around a calendar of free/cheap goings-on, tailored to the Boston reddit community, where anyone could post.
Taking to reddit once again, the duo asked readers how they felt about such a website. The responses were overwhelmingly positive and TheBostonCalendar began development. At this point, O’Connor said, “Ok this makes sense. We are going to follow the feedback and listen to the right people.” Initially, the ‘right people’ was the community of r/Boston. “We focused on reddit because working with that community is such an open process,” explained O’Connor.
As the site began to gain traction, the definition of O’Connor’s ‘right people’ to listen to became more serious. He recently began talking to industry experts and angel investors for advice on how to proceed. “There are three next steps,” continued O’Connor, “marketing and promotion, technological updates for the site, and partnerships.”
Keeping an engaged audience is one of the his chief worries though, he said, the Facebook campaign is going pretty well. Currently, the site is getting 1000 unique viewers a day, 4000 unique page views, and a 50% return rate. TheBostonCalendar is also featured on the front page of r/Boston at the “Calendar of Events” link. Not to bad for an infant crowd-sourced website.
And the momentum is building. O’Connor is about to begin talks with Boston University and EventBright Boston as potential partners. There is also an embed code on the site that allows WordPress users to post events from TheBostonCalendar straight to their web site/blog.
O’Connor is fully aware that r/Boston “has been pivotal to this whole thing” and he wants to continue gathering community feedback to advise him on the direction of the site. To that effect, he is hosting a meetup on September 26 and admission will be free for Boston redditors.
Click here for more details. See you there!