A civic scorecard for public calendars

As I build out calendar hubs for various cities, I’ve begun to develop a scorecard that shows which civic institutions do, or don’t, offer iCalendar feeds that make their public calendars available to their city’s hub. Here’s the scorecard for the current set of featured hubs. It illustrates what I’ve been saying about how the future of community information management is unevenly distributed. If you’re curious about how your city would stack up, it’s easy to find out. Just visit the websites of the institutions shown in the top row, look for the Calendar or Events link, and then look for an iCal link. If you find one for most categories then your city is (at least with respect to public calendars) thinking like the web.

newspaper/
media
city
govt
public
library
universities public
schools
ymca
Ann Arbor, MI ✔ Univ of Michigan1
✘ Washtenaw Community College
2
Berkeley, CA ✔ UC Berkeley
Boston, MA ✔ Berklee
✔ BU
✘ Harvard
✔ Mass Art
✘ MIT
✔ Northeastern
3
Falls Church, VA n/a n/a
Houston, TX ✘ Rice
✔ Texas Southern
✘ Univ of Houston
Keene, NH ✘ Antioch
✘ Keene State College
4
Manchester, NH ✔ Manchester Community College
✘ NH Institute of Art
✘ St. Anselm
Menlo Park, CA ✔ Stanford n/a
Providence, RI ✔ Brown
✘ Rhode Island College
✘ RISD
Seattle, WA ✔ Univ of Washington
✔ North Seattle Community College

1 Feeds not easily discoverable, and not valid, but can be made to work.
2 Ann Arbor’s public schools are exemplary.
3 Only the Dorchester facility.
4 Missing most activities.

6 thoughts on “A civic scorecard for public calendars

  1. dmendell

    Hi Jon,

    Nice insight as to how calendars can be syndicated.

    Our group in Portland Oregon actually has created q business around syndicating calendar information to various industry aggregators like the Oregon Wine Board and the Portland Tribune Newspaper. Our ability to make calendar event MASHUPS enables this functionality. You can see a list of these at dotcal.com.

    I would love to discuss this more some time. I could certainly offer this calendar data syndication engine to the city hubs if they like, and all our subscription buttons are are client agnostic. http://www.dotcal.com

    Over 150 wineries use this now and they love the idea very much.

    Lookg to learn more … Dan Mendell

    Reply
  2. Jon Udell Post author

    It seems we are thinking and working in parallel. We should certainly compare notes! Among other things, since you (like me) are interested in multiplying the number of iCal feeds available in the wild, I wonder if you’ve seen — and/or might want to help us with — the iCalendar Validator (http://icalvalid.cloudapp.net).

    Reply
    1. Dan Mendell

      Hi Jon,

      I have been a member calConnect for a while and have been exposed to the Validator. I’m sue our CTO and I would like to work on it.

      dotCal, soon to be Syndical, (get it) is totally dependent on iCalendar feeds and CalDav. All of our website widgets for our Syndication customers have the feeds and we put a lot of time into various tweeting to keep them working right.

      We are working hard right now on html in the body of iCalendar VEVENTS, because, dotCal is now html centric for the description/body fields, (this opens up a lot as you can guess), but were stripping it for cal clients that don’t do html, no easy task.

      I’d say dotCal is promoting the concept of iCalendar feeds very strongly since we create MASHUPs from them as well, i.e. (community calendars) authored by those in the community that have calendar info to publish. They use our UI to publish onto their websites (optional) and then our backend absorbs their icalendar feeds to create the aggregated community or industry mashup.

      Here is an example of where the top Aggregator or just publishes the calendar with only minor entry from their own site.

      http://explorer.oregonwine.org/events_consumer.php

      I bet this is exactly what you have been are thinking ……..

      Lets hook up and discuss more. I’m not far away.

      Reply
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