Events calendar website Eventfinder is offering its application programming interface (API) free to third party developers, allowing for mash-ups and localised event information. Developers can incorporate events from Eventfinder’s database, which has over a thousand active events, into their own websites. The Auckland-based company has entered a joint venture with APN Online in order to expand on the API already created, says Eventfinder’s CTO, James McGlinn. APN has a reach of over two million users, according to the company. “We believe strongly in a single, central database, and we think it is important that other people can tap into that, and access it,” says McGlinn. Lots of different, separate events calendars require a lot of maintenance, he says. In addition, promoters need to notify many different websites. Using Eventfinder, promoters are able to come to one place to manage their event information, and then have the information automatically distributed to any websites that want to carry an events calendar, says McGlinn. All developers have to do is to fill in an application form on Eventfinder’s website, he says. Eventfinder has been using the open source LAMP stack (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP) from day one, says McGlinn. The software stack allows for quick building and easy scaling, says McGlinn. “We use PHP 5, which lets us move in very short iterative design cycles, and get new features out quickly,” he says. Usability, and delivering clear and relevant information to its community of users, has been a core focus of Eventfinder from the start, he says Eventfinder uses Ajax technology — where it is appropriate — to improve user experience, says McGlinn. The company launched in January 2006 and has since grown from two to six staff. Today, the website has 100,000 unique browsers a month, which puts the site in the Top 50 in terms of domestic traffic, according to Nielsen Netratings, he says. Users can search for a range of events all over the country. Eventfinder’s social networking features enable people to comment, and interact with others through the site.
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