Lanyrd – Plan your conferences and suck out all the content

Look out Plancast and Upcoming, here comes Lanyrd. Ok, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but if it’s possible to have a SXSW “tipping point” at an event then Lanyrd just had it at dConstruct, a popular design and developer conference in the UK.

So what is it? The guys behind Lanyrd say they are not trying to build a general purpose events site but instead they are just interested in conferences and everything associated with them: speakers, attendees, venues, books, video and audio, twitter conversation, blog coverage – you name it.

Lanyrd is already showing conferences your Twitter friends are going to, topics, all conferences coming up in a country and profile pages.

Lanyrd aims to be useful in three contexts: before the event (finding out it’s on), during the event (what’s happening on Twitter, what’s scheduled next) and after the event (where are the slides / videos/ audio / write-ups). The features they have at the moment only cover the first of those three. However that didn’t stop people raving about it at dConstruct.

Built by Simon Willison and Natalie Downe, Lanyrd also addresses the issue of speakers at conferences. Most people who speak at conferences don’t have a page on their website listing all of the talks they have given. Lanyrd aims to fill this gap with JavaScript badges (“see me speak at…”) and an API so people can pull that data back out on to their sites as well.

However, I’ve encountered the same issue with Lanyrd that I found with Plancast: lots of events that are nowhere near me. Plancast pulled in all my Twitter contacts too but I found my stream full of people in other countries who are making plans for events far away that I just can’t attend. I have had to manuallly unfollow them and pull back to UK/Euro people. Right now Lanyrd doesn’t let me do that.

But for now it works pretty well.