Vision: A Hub Calendar Uniting A System of Grassroots Calendars
The Community Calendar is a “hub calendar” — not just another calendar where other groups’ events are copied. Most events on it are imported from the calendars of organizations such that if those organizers make modifications to their calendars those changes are automatically updated on the Community Calendar. In the future, your group’s calendar will also be able subscribe to Community Calendar events such that they automatically update, too. With a hub calendar, organizing effort in maintaining calendars can be vastly reduced because only the organizers of an event (not others interested in the event) need to post the event on their calendars; others just rely on their automatic feeds and links.
We currently have the import feeds working. The ability for your group to subscribe to events with live feeds is under construction. In the meantime, use the “+Google” button on events pages to copy the event to your calendar. (We are working to improve saving events.)
How Events Get On the Community Calendar
There are several ways events get on the calendar.
- If Your Calendar is Connected to Ours, Just Create An Event on Your Facebook Page or Other Calendar: You don’t need to do any more than you already do if your group already has an import feed to the calendar. Check the list of organizations and see if your group is on our list.
- Submit Your Event to the Calendar: If you are an event organizer and your are not also putting your event on a connected calendar, you may submit the details of your event to the calendar manually. On the community calendar page, click on the “Submit An Event” button in the upper right above the calendar. Complete the event form that comes up, filling out details on your event’s title, event date and time, organizer, venue, and description. An administrator will approve your submission within 24 hours.
- Contact Us With Your Event Details: Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get your event on the calendar. Or message us with a link to your event at https://www.facebook.com/CitizenLocalMotive/
Once an automatic feed is set up from your site to the community calendar, please be conscious that your event will appear on the community calendar just the way you post it on your own calendar. You are going public when you save! Make sure your titles are clear, short and include your group’s name. For example “General Meeting” does not give enough detail when it appears amidst other group’s posts, but “Olympia Indivisible General Meeting” does. But do not put too much information in the title either. The weblink to find more information, for example, belongs in the description field, not in the title. Be sure to enter the location in the location field of your calendar. Thank you for posting well! It helps.
Why a Community Calendar is Needed
We were inspired to develop a community calendar as we experienced the following problems. An automatically-updating calendar offers a solution!
Problem 1: Duplications of calendars resulting in propagation of errors that weren’t being corrected.
A local group had an event scheduled on May 6 but later changed the date to May 7. Meanwhile many other groups had replicated the event on their own calendars, which all now had the incorrect date.
Problem 2: Groups with similar audiences scheduling conflicting events
On one Monday afternoon and evening in July, there were three different events of interest to Thurston County Democratic campaign organizers and supporters, while there were no significant events on the remaining days that week.
Problem 3: Manually-updated calendars falling out of date because of the difficulty maintaining them
All over the internet there are blank calendars on activist group’s calendars as people’s busy lives prevent them from manually adding events. A Community Calendar that feeds information to the calendar on your website is a way for your group to have an up to date calendar without having to labor at it.