Social schedule builder: Feedback, please!

As you all know, we launched an alpha version of the social schedule builder for Oracle Openworld 2009 a couple of days before the event kicked off.

The basic premise was the idea that we could add value by combining the publicly available schedule information with the social graph on Oracle Mix. By allowing Mix members to share which of the many hundreds of sessions they find interesting or plan to attend they might help their friends and colleagues make better scheduling decisions (and hence have a better experience at OpenWorld).

Due to the challenges we encountered during the integration with Oracle Mix and the time it took to push this live, not all of the cool features we had available (e.g. mobile interface and others) were activated, and some of our Mix members had trouble accessing the application at all.

We've already talked to some of you who got a chance to try out this new feature in person but wanted to take the opportunity to ask all of our alpha testers to leave a comment here on our blog to tell us what you thought.

  • How did it work?

  • Did you find it useful?

  • Would you like to see something like this next year?

  • What other ideas to you have that could improve the scheduling experience?

Thanks to everyone who spent the time giving this feature a shot despite the fact we were only to release it last minute. We appreciate your effort very much and would like to reward you with an even better release at one of our upoming events (e.g. OpenWorld 2010).

Comments:

I think I mentioned this at the fedback session. Social builder was very good and i think if the Mix team keeps buiding on the social builder . This might be a good replacement for schedule builder

Posted by Fuad Arshad on October 19, 2009 at 05:40 AM PDT #

I posted a comment about this before, and am not sure if I'm the only one, but the times of all of the presentations were correct online but off by 3 hours in iCal. It would have been nice to have the keynotes listed as well. Yes I know I wanted to attend all of them, and I knew where they were, but it would have been nice to have a reminder of the speaker right there on my iPhone. Other than that it was nifty.

Posted by Chris on October 19, 2009 at 05:47 AM PDT #

I have used the Schedule Builder for this year. Really liked that I could see a flat list of all the sessions on one page, legible font. This alone made me ditch the cplan scheduler. Some observations after playing with it first hand: 1 sometimes not all sessions were loaded for the day - eg. Tuesday loaded only until 2.30pm. Page refresh solved the problem. 2 inline feedback e.g. This session was added to your agenda needs to snappier. 3 session details on click needs to be snappier. I often click multiple times which created the click-queue before realizing there is a lag time between click and session details to show up 4 default the day agenda to current system time. I happen to add to schedule a Sun session on Monday cause the default is always Sun. In the agenda a clear visual distinction between morning-noon-afternoon would help too. I'm definitely not the smartest guy but maybe others hit this too... :) 5 color-coded labels next to sessions to distinguish between hands-on, keynotes, etc. This might get too colorful so maybe only the most popular session types get this label. A'la Gmail labels. You probably get the idea 6 add ways to sort by time / date / place / session type. I even dreamed here to have a location based filter e.g. show all sessions in my current location. 7 add printable view together with a situational map where I need to go next. This would help if sessions I want to attend are in multiple locations. 8 add searching by session ID 9 I somewhat felt that the current drop-down filter is a bit too granular. I could select a specific track in Oracle Develop but could not select a view to see *all* Oracle Develop session. BTW. It be good to sync the filter track names with the official track names like hands-on labs, etc. I guessed Oracle Develop is the hands-on labs here. 10 just a minor cosmetic but would change the session selector from a checkbox into a plain Add link. Upon selection it changes to trash icon. 11 the hit for me would be to if the schedule builder suggests sessions for the next year based on my current selections. If I selected a Primvera hands on labs this year, next year the Schedule Builder would suggest Primavera hands-on session if there are any. More weight would be given to sessions that other people in my network chose. Anyway, as it stands now, this is way more usable than cplan.

Posted by Michal Kopec on October 19, 2009 at 06:25 AM PDT #

- missing keynotes - performance when expanding details of a meeting was poor - need flexible (ie boolean) filtering and tag search - better calendar integration (Collabsuite!) and instructions on how to load the Outlook / iCal files (i didn't try it but the people i talked to didn't sync successfully) - i would have liked ability to create ad hoc appointments (CVC, meals, etc). if i had been using calendar integration, i guess i would have created those there but i just wanted one list with all my appts for a day from ScheduleBuilder. i noted there is an existing schedule-builder function for OOW attendees but employees are inexplicably blocked from using it. not clear why we are blocked but seems we'd be better off if development efforts were concentrated on one scheduling tool.

Posted by dan on October 19, 2009 at 08:22 AM PDT #

Thanks, keep the comments coming. Great stuff!

Posted by Tim on October 19, 2009 at 11:26 AM PDT #

The schedule builder was billed as unavailable for employee registrants (I guess unless they were speakers or otherwise above the basic attendee level). If it was available to MIX users, would be nice to have that noted at the point in the registration process that says no schedule builder for you.

Posted by John on October 19, 2009 at 02:41 PM PDT #

I agree with most people above, that it was a nice addition and much better than trying to use the other schedule builder. I also agree that it would be nice to have the keynotes on there as well. Incorporating more of the social aspects into it, which I think you said you wanted to do, would be a nice addition.

Posted by George on October 19, 2009 at 11:31 PM PDT #

@George Thanks! Unfortunately for us, the benefits of these social features only materialize once a certain number of people uses them. In this case, with only a few dozen alpha testers, it took a bit of imagination to picture how it would feel in a production scenario. But yes, what we have in mind is a schedule builder with lots of social opportunities.

Posted by Tim on October 20, 2009 at 02:11 AM PDT #

I like the idea of being able to see who is attending in your network (kind of like Linkedin events). I would like the schedule builder to be mashed in with the social networking stuff in the Mix. This will give me the choice to use the Mix stuff, or just the schedule builder stuff. In general the schedule builder from cplan is fairly un-usable, but I guess that is not something we can address here. To me the feature on the mix was available too late, I already built my schedule in the schedule builder and loaded it into my phone. One feature I like about the paper version that was in the book: an overview of all the sessions in a glance, by day (split between oracle develop and primavera and the rest)

Posted by Lonneke Dikmans on October 24, 2009 at 08:46 PM PDT #

Please add the possibility to define a profile where I can select or deselect the individual content streams. That would allow me to filter out all Industry and Apps, and select the parts of database, middleware and develop that interest me. Please add speaker name to overview - that's an important criteria to me.

Posted by Sten Vesterli on November 03, 2009 at 08:38 PM PST #

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