You can haz Austin Tech Events Widget without WordPress!

Not too long ago I posted about the Austin Tech Events Plugin for WordPress. Several folks asked me how to install it sans WordPress or in a older version of WordPress that doesn’t support widgets. Well I’ll tell ya’.

Step 1. Download the latest version of the Austin Tech Events widget and upload it to a subdirectory on your site.

Step 2. Go get yourself a Google GDATA API key here.

Step 3. Add the following code to the head section of your site. Note the sections in red. You need to add your Google API Key and be sure to change the paths below to reflect where you uploaded the Austin Tech Events widget folder.

<script type="text/javascript" src=" GOOGLE API KEY GOES HERE"></script>
<script type="text/javascript">
	var calendarURL = '';
	var pageMaxResults = 15;
	var parseWiki = true;
	var showNav = true;
	var weeks = null;
	var widgetListSize = null;
<link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" href="" />
<link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" href="" />
<script type="text/javascript">
	function addLoadEvent(func) {
		var oldonload = window.onload;
		if (typeof window.onload != 'function') {
			window.onload = func;
		} else {
			window.onload = function() {
			if (oldonload) {
<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>

Step 4. Add the following code to body of you page. Place it wherever you want the widget to show up.

	<li id="austin-tech-events" class="widget widgetWPNGCalendar">
		<h2 class="widgettitle"><a href="">Austin Tech Events</a></h2>
			<div id="wpng-cal-widget-events" style="display:none;"></div>
			<div id="wpng-cal-load-widget" class="wpng-cal-loading">
				<img class="wpng-cal-image" alt="loading..." src="/wp-content/plugins/austin-tech-events-calendar/images/loading_large.gif"/>
			<script type="text/javascript" defer="defer">
				widgetListSize = 5;

That’s all there is to it. Check out the example I created of the Austin Tech Events Plugin installed on WordPress 1.5.2. Proof it can be done! 😉 The biggest disadvantage to this approach is that you won’t be notified of code updates like you would on a proper WordPress 2.5 widget install.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Austin Tech Events Calendar WordPress Plugin

Want to promote the tech community in Austin? This is your WordPress plugin! You can see an example of the plugin on my blog’s sidebar.

The Austin Tech Events Calendar plugin is a “branch” of the wpng-calendar, a WordPress plugin for integrating a Google calendar into your WordPress blog. I’ve customized it to best display events from the events calendar.

To install this plugin:

  1. Download it from here
  2. Upload the plugin to the “wp-content/plugins” directory in your WordPress installation
  3. Activate the plugin in your WordPress admin panel
  4. Go get yourself a Google GDATA API key here
  5. In your WordPress admin panel, goto “Options -> Austin Tech Events” then enter your Google GDATA API key. If you’re running WordPress 2.5, look under “Settings -> Austin Tech Events.”
  6. Under “Presentation -> Widgets” add the widget to your side bar, alter the options if you like

That’s it!

For more information about this plugin checkout the documentation from the the wpng-calendar site.

Drop me some comments if you have questions or feedback! 🙂

PS. This plugin uses Javascript to interface the Google API. I’d love to rebuild this plugin using PHP so that the links inside of the event descriptions would help each organization’s page rank in Google search. If anyone wants to take a stab at converting this from Javascript to PHP, I’d love you forever!

Have an old version of WordPress that doesn’t support widgets? Not using WordPress at all? Check out this post: Austin Tech Events Widget for those without widgets or WordPress.

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 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 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.

What I learned at SXSW Interactive 2007

2007 was my first year at SXSW Interactive. (Despite the fact I have lived in Austin for over 3 years now). It was a fantastic experience. The panels were packed with tasty bits of information and the social scene was equally as enriching.

Typically, around 3pm each day I felt my brain had hit its capacity for new information, and I really wanted to pause to research all the things I just learned. But, SXSW had other plans for me… more panels and parties of course! Ah, SXSW giveth and SXSW taketh away.

I did manage to jot down some key points that I wanted to remember and/or research after the event ended. So, here for you, are my notes from SXSW. Enjoy 😉

For those short on time

General SXSW Attendance

  • Bring good business cards to the event.
  • Goto the after hours parties. (Admittedly, I didn’t do enough of this. But I will next year.)
  • Ask questions in panels. (This I did do. It’s a little intimidating going up to the microphone, but it gets easier the more you do it.)
  • Know what to say when someone asks the question “What do you do?”
  • Travel light to avoid trips to the car or hotel.


  • Development costs are the most expensive costs for creating a startup application.
  • Reviews were mixed about outsourcing application development oversees. It seemed like those who were hesitant about outsourcing oversees had plenty of venture capital and worried about communication problems.
  • Company transparency is great for developing customer loyalty and is good PR.
  • Great customer support is the new marketing.
  • Research who your market is, segment them, and then market directly to each segment.
  • Virtual gifts, such as the flower on, are an interesting way to monetize social web applications.
  • Subscription fees that unlock advanced features of your web application is a good alternative to adding ads to your site.
  • Ads on subscription based sites can be used to encourage and remind non subscribers to subscribe.
  • Adding “We will never sell your email address” to your form is a simple way to gain user trust.


  • One method to test what keywords work for your site is to purchase a bundle of pay per click ads using the keywords you’re speculating on. Then look at the metrics to see which keywords outperformed the others.
  • SEO using keyword ratios is overrated. Quality link backs are the key.
  • SEO is not just good for search. It also helps deliver more accurate contextual ads from ad provider networks such as Google AdSense.


  • Microformats are simple to implement and add extensibility to your content.
  • After seeing the Microformat panel at SXSW, I’ve become such a big fan of the concept that I’m adding another bullet point here to encourage you to go research the topic.
  • Operator Firefox add-on is an interesting tool to take advantage of existing Microformats.
  • Selenium is great for testing AJAX. (I already new that, but it was nice to have it verified.)


  • Laughing Squid Web Hosting comes highly recommended. (I recommend if anyone cares.)
  • Feedburner rocks for gathering site feed statistics.
  • looks like a pretty cool genealogy web app.
  • seems like an excellent ad sharing network.
  • Everyone is in love with the Firebug Firefox add-on.
  • Bruce Sterling’s rant was awesome. He mentioned several interesting topics and people I intend to research further.
  • Ryan Carson seems like a good entrepreneur to model. I’ll be checking out his wittings and ventures.

Austin Tech Events Calendar

I usually keep up with the geeky technology type events that are going on in Austin. I recently started doing so using Google Calendar, so I thought I’d make my Austin Tech Events calendar public to anyone who is interested.

If you’re signed up with Google Calendar you can add this calendar to your account by subscribing to it.

There’s also a Google hosted page of this calendar here.
And a RSS feed you can subscribe to here.

If you know of an event that I need to add, let me know.

** Update! 3/29/2008 **

Scratch all that!  I’m no longer attempting to keep my own tech events calendar. There’s an awesome tech event calendar at It even comes in Google Calendar flavor, so you can overlay it onto your personal calendar.