Kristen Nicole at Mashable brings us news that HeyCosmo brings the world a service that uses the phone to help schedule your life. You could use the Concierge service to phone the HeyCosmo number and ask it to phone all the restaurants in a particular area and see if they have a table for 7pm. One presumes that who ever picks up the phone and confirms that they have a table will then be connected back to you.. It sounds nice but you will never ever use this service unless it is connected to an accurate and useful store of directory assets, or social network ratings, etc. I must admit Ijust don't see these guys being architected to do this. HeyCosmo reportedly has plans to expand into a kind of referral based service based on Geo-location/ local data. With 11 staff and Silicon Valley based, it can't be a cheap start up either.Update: RWW thinks HeyCosmo needs more emphasis on the receiver's experience. Bang On Assessment in my view.
Presdo (as in "press-do") are another 2.0 start up that enable you to invite people to events "on the fly". Drag a link to your toolbar and start booking events with friends and colleagues. This service is email driven and very "gooleicious". Which leads me to Google Calendar. Use Gmail and Calendar, hey even stick an SMS reminder into the routine, and your good to go. And with Google Gears for Calendar about to debut you have even more reason to use it.
TimeBridge on the other hand have a brief "negotiation" capability in that the initiator can choose 5 potential meeting times, and the recipients choose "best, available, not good" for each of the times, and then an email negotiation is entered into. It also synchs with all the available calendaring softwares. The key pieces here are "installed software base", and "negotiation". If the negotiating service was also "aware" of some of your meeting habits, relationship strengths, and work priorities, then it might actually become effective. These are key "micro-process" drags based on problems of co-ordination and communication.
Phil Wolff of SkypeJournal totally nailed it this week with this posting.
While the diagram above is an obvious reference to Alex Saunders "Presence 2.0" it illustrates how much deeper the conversation has to go to actually solve something as "simple" as an appointment routine. If you think of an appointment setting in your outlook as an "object", you may wish to see notes on the conference call, attached to-do's, products referenced in the call, etc. As your organisation scales in number, and the number of interactions / appointments between you and the customer scale, the issue becomes non-trivial.
Imagine: you have an appointment with an installer from BT, who said they would be at your house by 10.30. Why not go to the calendar page he emailed you as part of the confirmation cycle, hover over it, and it shows you on a map, where he is right now, and how long it will take to "next appointment"? Think of it as a FexEx for Everybody in your always live calendar. There is a opportunity to solve a real problem here, but we're all a bit away from having the social and technical infrastructure in place to crack it on a large scale. (IMHO)