How To Follow Your Facebook Friends' Calendars And Never Miss A Party

Plancast takes the idea of public calendaring already made popular by services like Tungle.me, and specifically targets social media for people to share individual profiles of upcoming events they'll be attending.

If you’re a social media junkie, marketer, speaker, or anyone that has an agenda beyond a weekly grocery store trip and would like others to know about it – Plancast is for you. The latest social service spreading like wildfire throughout social media channels (especially Twitter) is Plancast, one of those ideas that makes you go “Why didn’t I come up with that?” because the concept is so simple and useful. Plancast lets you share upcoming events and other activities with friends and followers. Techcrunch has dubbed it “Foursquare for the future” because that’s what it really is – you’re putting out a public event calendar of where you’re planning to go.

Logging in to Plancast with either Facebook and Twitter lets you perform the usual friend check on both social networks where you can “subscribe” to friends already using the service and hear about their plans. After registering I’m brought to a two-column dashboard that splits plans by those of your friends and those local to you, sorted by what’s coming up next.

I’m told about local Christmas charity event being hosted by a number of people I follow in the startup community here in Toronto. It shows me those folks are also attending events in other cities, such as event in Montreal and the upcoming Crunchies in January. I’m a little confused at some of the events I’m shown, such as a Private Art shopping event in my local feed. I assume it is someone I follow on Twitter (I have auto-follow turned on), but it’s not someone I subscribed to on Plancast. So why am I receiving this persons plans if I didn’t choose to subscribe to this person? I realize I don’t even follow this person on Twitter. Plancast is just feeding me local plans for users within its entire user base. The same thing happens when I view the Local Tab, so I’m assuming the subscribe feature is only for filtering friends, because you are defaulted to viewing everyone’s plans in your home feed, no matter if your subscribe to them or not.

Despite that, viewing events and individual Plancasts is neat – you can see who’s attending specific events as well as leave comments and check directions. Clicking on a user takes you to their dedicated public Plancast page that can be viewed and if you decide to join their plans just hit the count me in button to add this event to your plan page, or you can manually input plans yourself on the Me page. A handy feature is the ability to integrate your plans with your calendar, supporting iCal, Google, Outlook and Yahoo.

The uses of Plancast are many, for example if was an author I could Tweet my Plancast URL and instantly understand rough attendance numbers. Fans of mine could easily discover where I’m going to be without having to dig through my website. If you’re an entrepreneur or in business and trying to network, this is a great tool to find out where your peers are hanging out. If your trying to promote an event, it helps you get the word out as soon as a person counts himself or herself in. Like Foursquare, it will have its fair share of naysayers crying “Why would I want to broadcast where I’m going?”, but for many others this unique spin on public calendaring answers the question, Where are you going?