If you're going to JavaOne next week (like a few of us) then you've probably used Schedule Builder. You use it (no surprise) to create a schedule of talks, BOF's, or meetings you want to attend. You have to use it to reserve your space in a session.

 

 

The problem is, it's a horrible app and the more I used it the more I started to think of ways to improve it. One thing that stood out (besides improving its lack of usability) is the fact that there's no concept of community in the application.

 

 

[Schedule Builder|http://www.flickr.com/photos/50884898@N00/144232370/] Fortunately, there is an alternative. The guys at Javalobby built an excellent schedule builder, complete with community features like group chat (powered by  Wildfire). You can build your schedule using a really slick calendar interface, export your schedule as iCal or HTML, and filter the UI to show only sessions, BOF's, etc. Great work guys!

 

 

Beyond this I'd love to see some improvements for next year (either to the JavaLobby version or the official conference one):

 

 

  • Share or publish schedules: I'd love to show my colleagues what sessions I'm going to. Further, I'd be great to use group schedules as a gauge of session popularity (think Delicious).

  • Use a message board: It'd be great if there was a discussion for each session.

  • Connect with people: Imagine being able to chat or meet people in advance of the session.

  • Events: This could be a special forum, just for posting events like meet-ups or group runs (see below ).

All of this would inject some more community in to the JavaOne experience. The JavaLobby forums and their new app is a really great start. Of course, I know some software which could help in the above ideas.

 

As an aside: Is anyone interested in going for a run at JavaOne? 1/4th of the Jive Software Hood-to-Coast team will be in SF and we'd love to head out for a jog. Anyone else interested? If so, leave a comment on this blog entry and I'll get in touch with you.