Austin Tech Community Events Calendar Strategy

We have a lot of awesome tech and entrepreneurship communities in Austin: door64, Geek Austin, Social Media Club, Bootstrap Austin, Refresh Austin, Jelly, and Startup Drinks, just to name a few. Recently Austin has been doing really well intermingling and cross pollinating our communities, and that has got me EXTREMELY excited. Just the other day Social Media Club had their meeting during Austin Jelly, during that cross mingling Jelly got a few new coworkers and Social Media Club got some new member interest. How cool is that?

One large barrier I’ve found organizing Austin Jelly is the proliferation of calendars online for me to post my events to. And each of those calendars has their own small audience, so of course I need to post to all of them to reach the largest audience. What we need is ONE shared calendar feed with an API so we can display and post events from our organizations website. But the key thing is that the backend is shared, so we’re promoting each others events across the web.

Matt has done a great job developing the community and the calendar at door64.com. One great thing about the door64 calendar (aside from the amount of events posted there and the audience size) is that it’s already integrated into Google Calendars, which is a huge step towards making it easy to spread.

I’d like to help make the door64 calendar THE tech event calendar for Austin. I believe the way to this is by developing the following:

  1. Create WordPress Widget for Austin Tech Events
    (Are you an Austin Tech blogger? Why not promote Austin Tech events by using this widget? PS. It’s almost done, check it out on the bottom of my blog’s sidebar.)
  2. Create automated batch push of Austin events to 3rd party calendars via API
    (AKA: Post an event to door64.com and it gets pushed to these other event calendars.)

    1. Upcoming
    2. Craigslist
    3. What else?
  3. Create an event posting API
    (AKA: Post events to door64’s calendar from your organization’s website. Keep your brand, but cross promote your event.)

What do you think? I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts.

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7 Responses to Austin Tech Community Events Calendar Strategy

  1. john erik says:

    oh man. that is a _killer_ idea. can i download the plugin yet?!

  2. john erik says:

    ohhh man! little light box and everything. sliiick

  3. Silona says:

    We actually talked about this a fair amt at the first codeathon.

    we finally decided the way we wanted to go about it was to
    1) create a widget that put everything in hcal
    2) and will also do feeds
    3) create a scraper for those not using our widget

    that way we can push and pull.

    Someone was talking about creating it in Drupal.

    We wanted the EXACT same thing for the environmentalist community here in Austin. Brandi Clark’s nonprofit was the champion for it.

    Selwyn was the tech leader.

  4. Been trying to sell people on this for a year! I’m in!

  5. Dusty says:

    @John – Download is coming in the next day or so. I’m waiting to get hosting on the WordPress.org plugins directory.

    @Silona – That sounds cool! Would love to see the work done on it.

    @AustinStartup – Awesome! 🙂

  6. david j neff says:

    Hey
    Whatabout us weirdos on MT 4.0 and typepad? Any love coming our way as far as widgets?

  7. Dusty says:

    @david – I’d like to move on to the development of step 2 above. But I’d consider building something for those platforms. Shoot me an email about what you’d like specifically. There may be alternatives to full on widget development.

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