I can tell when something's going to be hot on Kickstarter based on which friends are supporting it. This campaign has been sounding alerts all day with support from several internet movers & shakers, bloggers, developers, and creative makers I follow and admire.
I just joined 'em. Here's why:
I was a big fan of upcoming.org, back in its early days (pre-Yahoo? Possibly). I discovered it at SXSWi and used it lots in the Bay Area, for promoting/listing events as well as finding/indicating attendance at 'em.
It was one of the first consolidated-calendar systems to make it easy to discover events that my 'friends' and contacts were into.
It made it easy to promote events -- IIRC, it was the first "web 2.0" interface I found myself regularly using, bringing in data from lots of places and updating the entry screen without switching pages.
It lived outside of any one system, so I wasn't limited to FB or Orkut or all the other one-at-a-time captive-member systems.
I did find limits in terms of the distance between people's "RSVP" on upcoming and attendance at an event - when I organized an event related to Macworld Expo in SF, I geared up based on 100+ RSVPs, but got a dozen showing up, and learned a lot about how many people treated it more like a "Like" button than "I'm going".
It was an early pioneer in offering RSS feeds, and I was able to integrate it with Google Calendar.
The effective orphaning by yahoo was a shame, but perhaps inevitable given the political/market forces at work at that time.
A broad-based, cross-connected calendar remains a dream of mine, shared by many others - nerdvana, so to speak. Will the new upcoming get us closer? Perhaps. But a $25 investment is worth it to be part of finding out.