Topical event hubs

The elmcity project began with a focus on aggregating events for communities defined by places: cities, towns. But I realized a while ago that it could also be used to aggregate events for communities defined by topics. So now I’m building out that capability. One early adopter tracks and promotes online events in the e-learning domain. Another tracks and promotes conferences and events related to environmentally-sustainable business practices.

The curation method is very similar to what’s defined in the elmcity project FAQ. To define a topic hub you use a Delicious account, you create a metadata URL as shown in the FAQ, and you use what= instead of where= to define a topic instead of a location. Since there’s no location, there’s no aggregation of Eventful and Upcoming events. The topical hub is driven purely by your registry of iCalendar feeds.

If you (or somebody you know) needs to curate events by topic, and would like try this method, please get in touch. I’d love to have you help me define how this can work, and discover where it can go.

6 thoughts on “Topical event hubs

  1. Michael Fagan

    How about both? I might be willing to curate a ‘green events in the seattle area’ calendar (I’ve already got a good list of ical files I subscribe to), but I would certainly not be willing to curate all green events or all seattle events ;-)

    Reply
  2. Jon Udell Post author

    > How about both? I might be willing to
    > curate a ‘green events in the seattle area’
    > calendar

    In that case I’d create the Delicious account GreenEventsInSeattle and use the original place-based method.

    Alternatively, if you were doing general curation for Seattle and wanted to have a green topic within it, you could use the categorization (tagging) methods.

    http://blog.jonudell.net/2009/06/04/categorizing-events/

    http://blog.jonudell.net/2009/06/08/scribbling-in-the-margins-of-icalendar/

    Either way, you’d get the union of Eventful and Upcoming plus your registry of feeds.

    Oh, wait a sec. That /won’t/ work. You’d need to restrict the stuff coming from Eventful and Upcoming to green events. And they will almost never be tagged reliably as such. Best you could do is rely on the venue-tagging scheme described in http://blog.jonudell.net/2009/06/04/categorizing-events/, in cases where a venue is always associated with green events.

    So you’d mostly need to deal with Eventful and Upcoming at the per-event level rather than the per-feed level. In which case, if you created a subset of Eventful and Upcoming green events — as determined by you — then you might as well do that as an iCalendar feed. In which case it would be just another iCalendar feed in a topical hub.

    Good question, Michael!

    I would think that folks producing and promoting green events will be individuals and organizations who have websites, and who publish info about their events on those websites, and who could (but probably do not) make their web info available in iCal format for syndication.

    So I reckon the challenge in this case boils down to the same one this project is tackling generally: showing people why and how to publish iCal feeds that augment the HTML, PDF, email, and paper formats they are currently using.

    Reply
  3. Michael Fagan

    heh I’m not sure there was a conclusion in any of that ;-)

    Either way, there are at least six green seattle ical files that I already subscribe to myself. I *could* go down the topical route.

    Reply
  4. Jon Udell Post author

    > heh I’m not sure there was a conclusion
    > in any of that ;-

    Chuckle. Sorry…

    > Either way, there are at least six green
    > seattle ical files that I already subscribe
    > to myself. I *could* go down the topical
    > route.

    Sure, give it a try and see how it goes.

    Reply
  5. Pingback: Curation, meta-curation, and live Net radio « Jon Udell

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