Not too long ago I was contacted by someone who suggested I should have an event calendar here on Hack Bend that compiled all the local events I blog about into one location. I thought this was a good idea, since there really is no single calendar online that has a lot of the stuff together—you have to check the Visitor Bureau calendar for some stuff, the COVA calendar for other stuff, etc.
The Source is pretty good, but they don’t show events in an easy-to-scan calendar format, and while they have quite an eclectic listing of events, even they don’t get everything—and frankly, not everything they list is stuff I’d post here.
So I spent part of my weekend looking at web-based calendars I could plug into this site that would be easy to use and manage, look good, not end up taking too much of my time, and be functional. In particular I wanted an easy way to categorize events so people could filter their view for just, say, music, or beer-related events. Plus, I really didn’t want to reinvent the wheel and have to write it myself.
It hasn’t quite worked out that way (yet); after fiddling around with a system that looked promising, I couldn’t get it to work and I realized I was starting to (already) spend far more time on it than I wanted to be—so I scrapped it and went with the next best thing: Google Calendar.
I created a new public "Hack Bend" calendar on my Google account, started adding some events, and used a nifty feature Google offers that lets you plug their dynamic calendar right into a webpage—all of which took me about 10 minutes to accomplish. So, there is now a Hack Bend Events Calendar available here.
A couple things: Google doesn’t categorize events, so there’s no way to search or filter by a particular event type; you see ’em all. The event view is fairly basic; clicking an event gets you a plain-text popup and you can click "more details" for the formatted view and a link to the webpage of the event (or the nearest I could find on the web, anyway).
But the calendar stuff works really well and it’s a no-brainer for me to add events without having to do a bunch of extra work. And if you have a Google Calendar account, you can add these events to your own schedule. I love Google.
So basically, I’ll be adding events I blog about and that interest me in the context of this website. If you have an event you want me to add, no problem—drop me a line and I’ll put it on there for you. For anything I don’t cover, check out The Source as well.