A soonfeed lands on European Commission site

In 2011 I first pitched the concept of a “soonfeed” to a unit at the European Commission. The idea was to develop the world’s first timeline where users could discover and get alerts to what’s happening online, a bit like a TV guide for the web. I was hoping the Commission would finance a prototype that could evolve into a unique feature of the Europa.eu platform.


They said no, obviously.


soonfeed socialSo then I spent the next four years bootstrapping the idea. When I started, I was pushing 40 and had no business experience, tech knowledge or team. And I was based in Brussels and Bosnia, not Silicon Valley and Boston. But I did love the smell of statistical probability of failure in the morning.


This week, we embedded a soonfeed widget on a European Commission website. Let me savour that for a moment.


Mmmmm. It feels good. And it looks pretty good doesn’t it?




A soonfeed for adult educators


We created this particular soonfeed for EPALE, the European platform for adult learning professionals. The EPALE soonfeed features live streams, live chats, live tweets, webinars, launches and other scheduled happenings that can teach, inform and inspire adult educators online.


The soonfeed happenings are sourced and curated by the Soonfeed team in collaboration with EPALE’s community manager, who happens to be me. So we can test, learn from and add real value to EPALE’s soonfeed with minimal fuss and friction.


In these first few weeks, we’ll be sourcing most of the happenings from events and launches listed on EPALE’s event page, in addition to scheduled content we find on partner sites and social media (Twitter chats, Google hangouts etc). Over time, however, we’d like to host more happenings on the EPALE site, as we did for the EPALE launch event in April and this live panel discussion for International Literacy Day last week.


That’s why we’re planning a permanent “LIVE” page which features social content and live happenings on the EPALE site. The LIVE page will be a natural home for the soonfeed widget, enabling users to discover content beforetime, and to get an alert as it happens in realtime. Every happening can then be promoted beforetime to expand the lifespan of the content, thereby boosting EPALE’s reach, community engagement, sign ups and SEO.


Soon, I’ll let you know how it’s going. In the meantime, come and say hello on LinkedIn or Twitter @happeningo.


Richard Medic is founder of happeningo digital agency and Soonfeed, the world’s first timeline of what’s happening soon on the web.