An event calendar

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.

5 thoughts on “An event calendar

  1. Two things that would be great to add:
    Bend’s Big Fat Tour October 12-14 http://www.bendsbigfattour.com
    Three days of mountain biking in the Ocochos, around Mt. Bachelor and down to town and Cache Mountain. Fundraiser for COTA and other bike related local organizations – the more people, the more donated!
    Cog Wild’s Umpqua River Mountain Biking Adventure October 19-21
    Three days of epic mountain biking on a supported tour of the North Umpqua Trail. $520 per person and includes food, beer by Deschutes Brewery, transportation and more! We have a few spots left.
    COTA also has two work parties coming up, one on October 6th for the new freeride area and then one more for the entire trail network.
    Very cool to have the calendar!!

  2. Man, I can picture this being a ton of work for you if you’re not careful. I know trying to maintain the various Web site calendars for the two Web sites I work on here in Sunriver are tiring enough, and we certainly don’t encompass all of central Oregon. Good luck to ya, but you just opened up a can of works for yourself 🙂

  3. Jake – yeah, I’m trying to minimize the work and "outsource" as much of the calendar as possible, which is why I settled on Google. And that’s why I made the disclaimer of *not* covering everything. 😉

    Melanie and Jen – done! You’re on the calendar. 🙂

  4. I’ve recently launched an event website for all the endurance sporting events (cycling, running, xc skiing, etc.) here in central Oregon at http://bendoutside.com. There have been efforts to do this before, but BendOutside.com is different for two reasons. 1. It enables users to login and create or comment on events. This ensures that having an updated and comprehensive site is not in the hands of just one person (who may be lazy, get sick or travel too much!). 2. It is not just for one type of sport. Most of us central Oregonians are multisport athletes. Sure we may have a primary or favorite sport, but many of us like to get out for a range of activities especially as the seasons change. BendOutside.com consolidates all these events onto one website so that they are easy to find. No more checking 8 different websites to see what’s happening this weekend and then still missing something!

    Please feel free to check it out and add your event… it’s a FREE way to promote your event and funnel traffic directly to your event site.

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