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Music and events calendar for hamiltonians


larry_llama
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Some of you may have seen this over at stillepost, but in case not...

I recently set up http://www.hcal.ca/ to (hopefully) fill the void in reporting local shows, events etc. The idea is that anyone can post an event, so if enough people start to use it it should become the best central spot for getting such info. I also tried to give it some extra features which I thought would be kinda fun:

- Non-music events You can post any type of event, and when you look at the calendar you can choose which type of event you want to see. So you are welcome to post anything from concerts to community cleanups, art shows, etc...

- Personal Calendar This is something I think could be really useful. If you see an event that interests you, you can click to add it to your personal calendar, and then you can see at-a-glance the upcoming shows that YOU want to go to. Could be good for anyone like me who has a problem with memory. You don't even have to register with an email in order to use this feature.

- Database of performers/venues As events get added, the database of locations, people, groups etc grows. Eventually it will be searchable and editable as well.

Anyway, the motivation behind this is that it always seems so hard to find out what is going on and where... there is no central place that has all shows. Hopefully everyone can help to turn this into a central events database.

On that note I'm really hoping that venue managers, bookers and local band members sign up and post whatever they can (to make sure the listings are as accurate as possible). But anyone can post, so even if you just know of a show that you are going to go see, please post it there if it's not already. I put a bunch of upcoming shows on there to get it started but I'm not going to be able to do all of it myself!

If people start to actually use it, I will implement more features and such... so please send suggestions and comments along if you have any.

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Anyway, the motivation behind this is that it always seems so hard to find out what is going on and where... there is no central place that has all shows. Hopefully everyone can help to turn this into a central events database..

Hamiltonians have VIEW Magazine

Seriously no central place. I thought VIEW Mag has been that for years, in print and on the web. I do wish you all the best and totally respect what you're doing. It's just I never had a problem keeping up on the local happenings. VIEW Mag and the Spec have worked very well for me and I'm not really interested in personalizing another calendar. All i do is go to events and it's pretty easy to do so as it is. Sorry to be a dick

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Problem is viewmag only updates weekly on Thursdays which doesn't help too much in terms of planning ahead (it's not always a concern but it's nice to know -- sometimes on Wednesdays I'm jonesin' for the weekend and if I go to view's listings I only have one evening's worth of good times to get excited about).

Plus clicking to get to a band's homepage/myspace is kinda convenient. No offence to the view but their webpage is kinda stuck in 1999 -- which I guess is cool for Prince fans and all but...

Anyway I'm hoping people use it but I'm not gonna be offended if they don't!

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As a musician I wish VIEW came out on a Tuesday but as a music fan I could care less. I understand what you're getting at though and your site looks very appealing. Who knows maybe i'll be eating my words on this one.

No offence to the view but their webpage is kinda stuck in 1999 -- which I guess is cool for Prince fans and all but...

hahahawawa ..... wait a minute, I like Prince. ;)

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The view certainly doesn't list all venues or all shows either. Doesn't seem to be fully comprehensive anyways...a good resource to be sure, but what you're proposing sounds good. I like the whole self-organization aspect.

Do venues have to pay to be listed in the view?

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nice work dude... anything that helps out the local music scene/community is awesome in my book

looks like it'll be particularly useful for bands to self promote their shows... View is fine but adding the potential for bands to throw up their blurb or show details and a link to their site is ideal

keep up the good work

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I added commenting -- so for now you can add comments to a listing if there are any updates or changes, then I can make the changes manually. I will definitely add "edit" functionality soon.

Comments seem more fun though so I implemented those first. Feel free to talk up any shows in the comments section.

For example I'm sure this listing is not quite right: http://hcal.ca/eventdetails.html?id=93 ... rev?

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Meh...so lazy. Logging in and/or registering is such hard work. You should make this more like a Wiki...just my two cents though.

For the show in question, Luke Doucet is indeed headlining, and Matthew De Zoete is also on the bill. I'm playing with Dan Griffin as usual and also sitting in with Matthew. Good times!

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dude, you don't need to provide an email to register. just pick a name and you can use it right away. the problem with completely anonymous postings is spambots, then you need a stupid captcha which in my opinion is worse than an instant registration process cause you have to type random characters in EVERY time you want to post. just my 2 cents... i'm open to changing it if thats what the people want though :-)

i also just added the venue database so you can actually see all the venue details -- including upcoming shows for that venue alone -- by clicking on the name of the club.

i will fix up that doucet show...

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  • 3 weeks later...
This is a great site, man, big ups. I'd like to see a feature where I can edit an existing event, though, rather than just adding a new one.

Hey Rev (and all)... The edit function is now up and running (via a link at the top of each event page):

http://hcal.ca/eventdetails.html?id=234

I'd also like to add contact info for bookers under each venue listing. So if there are any bookers out there who want to be listed, please contact me and let me know which venues you book for, and if you know any bookers for specific venues (or otherwise), please let me know.

Thanks everyone!

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Personal calendars can be shared... sorry it's not an obvious feature yet, but I'll add a link to the personal calendar page so that it's more visible.

Here is an example...just change the username at the end to yours:

http://hcal.ca/shared.html?usr=seancb

RSS as well as email reminders are in the works! I have never done RSS before so that is going to be new to me...

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Ask and ye shall receive! I updated the personal calendar page to display a link to your shared calendar (to make it easier to copy and paste to people), as well as adding an option to enable/disable sharing (in case you have a stalker)

Next up will be editing venue and band information I think. Unless there are any other suggestions? I want to get the basics complete before getting too fancy.

Also looking for volunteers to help post shows in order to help out until this becomes popular enough to be self-sustaining. It would be cool if anyone with an interest in helping to build this community resource cares to pick a specific venue and regularly post/update shows (until we can convince the venue operators that it's in their interest to do it themselves). I have been trying to do it on my own, and if it were only a few shows at a time, I could keep up but it's hard for me to keep on top of every venue and every community event on my own! Any takers? ;)

Down the road: RSS, email reminders (including notifying you if a band which you've previously added to your calendar has a new show posted), creating static mini-calendars that can be embedded in other pages (such as a band's page, a blog, or a venue's page), uploading concert posters....and probably more. Note that I'm not committing to doing any of this at any reasonable speed :P

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I am all in support of your website. However, the number of places to list a venue's shows/events is growing every day.

There just isn't enough time in the day to spend uploading new info to EVERY site out there.

I totally understand... That's why I'm fully open to sharing the database with whomever is interested in incorporating the listings into their own page. As well, my next "task" is to create static pages that are simply an HTML table of shows for a particular venue. Then, for example, you could include that static page on your casbah website and by updating hcal, you'd be updating your own site as well.

I know lots of people are using myspace to post shows, but it's just not centralized, and it's a tooth-grinding experience going anywhere NEAR most of the profiles on that site.

Anyway, I will continue to do my best to post all the shows I can, but for now I'm focusing on development more than importing data. There's only so much one man can do!

It would be cool if enough people caught on to make this worthwhile, but I'm not gonna take it personally if it goes nowhere. That being said, any and all input, even if you want to tell me I'm an idiot, is welcome (but I might argue if you actually tell me I'm an idiot...)

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I do have a suggestion, was wondering if its possible to get an RSS feed of our personal calendar?

Hey... I'm looking into this RSS business and it seems pretty straightforward. However I was looking for some advice from anyone who uses RSS.

Generally, RSS feeds tend to have the newest-posted content listed first. However, for events listings it generally makes more sense to have the soonest-to-occur item listed first. In this case though, the top item is likely to be the one that was posted the longest time in the past which is counter to how most feeds work.

Also, when 2am rolls around, the events of that day will drop off the top and everything will shift upwards.

I'm wondering how all this will affect RSS readers etc. i.e. it doesn't make sense to "update" the RSS fed when items come off the top (it would be showing an "update" at 2am every day then, even if nothing new was posted).

I guess I'm looking for anyone who uses RSS to give me an idea about how they'd like to see a feed laid out

the number of places to list a venue's shows/events is growing every day

Hey man... There is now a way to include hcal content into other webpages. i.e. with a line of code at casbah.ca, your site would display all upcoming casbah events without any extra work. Once RSS is done, you could include casbah listings in ANY site that can take an RSS feed. So I'm working towards a goal of there being only one place where a show has to be updated.

Check out the code for casbah (code and instructions are down the page just under the listings):

http://hcal.ca/venuedetails.html?id=5

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