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Poll: Calendar usage

Approximately how often do you check the Calendar?

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Have you posted events in the Calendar?

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Would you use the Calendar to find events, if folks would post them?

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Would you post events to the Calendar if you thought folks would look there?

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Do you think it would be good if events were posted in the Calendar?

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#1 JimLucas

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 03:13 PM

(This is about a concertina.net feature that I believe is, strictly speaking, independent of the Forums, but this is the obvious place -- because it's the only place -- to discuss it. B))

 

I decided to create a poll to go along with my "essay" here.  I think it makes sense to read the following before trying to answer the questions in the poll, but that's up to you.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I've just added the Scandinavian Squeeze-In 2015 (SSI) to the Calendar facility here on concertina.net, but I wonder, does anyone actually bother to check the Calendar for events?
 
It certainly doesn't look like many events get posted there, which I think is a shame, since I think it could be a valuable -- and convenient -- source of information if it were utilized.  So far this year, the SSI in late April seems to be the only event posted.  Looking back through 2014, I see only three posted events:

  • the SSI
  • Whitby Folk Week
  • the NorthEast Squeeze In (NESI).

But imagine what it could be like if everyone posted their events:

  • workshops, festivals, and meetings
    • Whitby and other festivals
    • the German concertina meeting
    • Swaledale Squeeze
    • Kilve weekends
    • Concertinas at Witney
    • various Noel Hil workshops
    • Royal Concertinas, Dungworth
    • (among others)
  • personal gigs and tours
    • Randy Stein's various appearances
    • ditto for The Squeezers and others
    • Jody Kruskal's tour announcements and details
    • (and I presume many others)
  • jam sessions and get togethers
    • Irish sessions just about everywhere
    • the monthly "English" session in Stockholm (usually 3 concertinas; sometimes me, too)
    • the DC-area gatherings
    • the San Diego gatherings
    • (etc.)
  • other stuff
    • CD release parties
    • (if you can think of something, post it)

The above groupings are mine and artificial.  The Calendar just records events, with your descriptions, whether one-shot, over several days, or regularly repeating.

 

I think it's potentially very useful.  What do you say about converting that "potential" to "actual"?



#2 lachenal74693

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 12:33 AM

I've voted, but would like to slightly expand my opinions as expressed in the vote:

 

A 'calendar' is a fine idea but personally, I wonder if a simple, single, time-sorted list isn't

preferable?

 

These calendar-based 'calendars' are a little clunky to my mind - I have to click through every

single month to get an idea of what is happening. Very tedious. [I am involved with an outfit that

also uses this sort of calendar and am trying hard to get them to change the approach as well.]

 

It's dead simple - unless it's very important to me, I just don't bother to look at this sort of

calendar when I encounter one.

 

FWIW, the software used to set up the poll and record and report the voting is the simplest and

easiest to use that I've yet encountered.

 

Roger.


Edited by lachenal74693, 30 December 2014 - 12:45 AM.


#3 JimLucas

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 07:19 AM

A 'calendar' is a fine idea but personally, I wonder if a simple, single, time-sorted list isn't preferable?

  • For my own purposes, I'd say that it would depend on how many events are listed, among other things. A single list might be fine if I want to look for something in the near future, but for six months from now, what if there were sixty listings in between? (10 per month doesn't seem unreasonable to me, if folks actually posted all relevant events.) Then I'd just have to scroll through several pages of listings rather than several calendar months, no? Currently that's not a problem, but only because people aren't posting events.
  • We currently don't have software for a proper list option here, and I don't know how much trouble it would be to get, install, and maintain such a list. (Remember, concertina.net isn't a commercial operation.) We do have the Calendar. Neither solution is even close to perfect, IMO, but I think that using the Calendar is far superior to having it available and not using it.
  • We do have a sort of event list here... the Public News & Announcements subforum. Unfortunately, it's not sorted by the date of the event, but by the date the event was posted... unless their have been replies, in which case it's the date of the last reply. If our members posted all their events both there and in the Calendar (but still without a proper time-sorted list), which would you prefer? Which would you look at first?

These calendar-based 'calendars' are a little clunky to my mind - I have to click through every single month to get an idea of what is happening. Very tedious.


Depends on what you're looking for.

  • If you want to see what's happening in a given month, you can "Jump" to that month with the current Calendar. (I've started a separate thread to tell Paul and Ken that the Jump function needs to be updated to include at least the year 2015.)
  • If you want to browse through everything that's happening in the next few months, then how is it less tedious to scroll through several pages of a list?

It's dead simple - unless it's very important to me, I just don't bother to look at this sort of calendar when I encounter one.


So if events aren't presented in your preferred format, you'd rather not know about them? To me that seems an odd way to make decisions about what's worth doing. But rather than argue lifestyle, please let me make some observations regarding calendar/event systems in general... and in theory:

  • It should be "trivial" to program an additional function into any system which presents events in a calender format, one that simply sorts the events by date and presents them alternatively as a list. Are there no calendar systems already available which do this?
  • One thing I think is much easier to see in the calendar layout is potential conflicts... multiple events on the same date.
  • If there are a great many events, both formats can become overloaded and unwieldy. If that happens, which I think it easily could if the system were used to the extent I've suggested, then a further functionality would be important... the ability to sort and select according to keywords (e.g., "concert", "weekend", "classes", "band", "beginner", "session", etc.) and content (e.g., "Kilve", "Randy Stein", "Bach", "Noel Hill", "Yorkshire", etc.).
  • But that capability is a lot more work -- or expense, most likely, if someone else has to do/has done the development, -- so I wouldn't advocate going that route unless and until postings become so numerous as to make it "necessary".
  • Another useful (IMO) layout, but one I haven't yet seen (though I have not attempted deep research) would be a calendar layout which would display a selected period, rather than being arbitrarily divided into named months.  E.g., if I had a vacation from mid-March through the first week of April, I'd like to look for concertina-related events in (e.g.) Ireland during just that period, rather than all of March and then all of April.  (Many Europeans, by the way, work with a system that numbers the weeks of the year.  Maybe that could be incorporated?)

But I would like to see more events in the Calendar, if only to find out (a new poll a few months from now?) whether others find it useful.  Would anyone object to my posting events I know about, even though I'm neither involved in running them nor performing in them?  (If I did that, I think I would start with classes and weekend-long events, but maybe work my way down to individual performers' concert tours, if I could find the time, and if they don't mind.)



#4 lachenal74693

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 08:26 AM

>So if events aren't presented in your preferred format, you'd rather not know about them? To me that seems an odd way to make decisions

>about what's worth doing. But rather than argue lifestyle, please let me make some observations regarding calendar/event systems in

>general... and in theory:

 

That's not what I said, and didn't really consider that what I said might be interpreted in that way. My comments were intended

to be mildly, but constructively critical.

 

I specifically said "this sort of calendar" which I have never found to be anything other than 'clunky'. I 'suggested' a simple

time-sorted list as an alternative, which, given the number of items currently in the calendar would be perfectly OK, probably

extending to not much more than a single screen/page? If there are dozens of entries, clearly a different solution is called

for - there are (presumably) alternatives out there?

 

Roger


Edited by lachenal74693, 30 December 2014 - 09:13 AM.


#5 JimLucas

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 01:12 PM

So if events aren't presented in your preferred format, you'd rather not know about them? To me that seems an odd way to make decisions about what's worth doing. But rather than argue lifestyle, please let me make some observations regarding calendar/event systems in general... and in theory:


That's not what I said, and didn't really consider that what I said might be interpreted in that way.

My apologies, Roger, if I misunderstood you. Please let me explain how I came to interpret what you said "in that way". What you said was:

It's dead simple - unless it's very important to me, I just don't bother to look at this sort of calendar when I encounter one.


And it seems to me that a necessary consequence of not bothering to look is not knowing about what's there.

But maybe I misunderstood what you meant by "this sort of calendar"? From the rest of your post, I thought that you were making a distinction between the month-at-a-time 2-dimensional calendar format and the date-sorted list format that you proposed. If you were referring to some other distinction, please elaborate, because I missed it.
 

My comments were intended to be mildly, but constructively critical.


And that's the spirit in which I took the rest of your post, which I then tried to answer from my own perspective.
 

I specifically said "this sort of calendar" which I have never found to be anything other than 'clunky'". I 'suggested' a simple time-sorted list as an alternative....


There's that phrase, again, highlighted by you. What, aside from the display format, do you find "clunky" about "this sort of calendar", which is necessarily absent from the alternative of a time-sorted list?
 

...which, given the number of items currently in the calendar would be perfectly OK...


But the whole point of my starting this topic and the accompanying poll, which I thought I had made clear in my initial post, is that with the current number of items the system is virtually useless as a source of information. But what I want is a centralized source of information -- as much information as possible -- about concertina-related events.
 

If there are dozens of entries, clearly a different solution is called for...


This sounds like we're more in agreement than the above exchange would suggest. I made various suggestions in my second post. Please, would you comment on them?
 

...there are (presumably) alternatives out there?


If there are, I don't know where to find them, but neither have I spent time searching for them. The resources -- both time and money -- of those who own and maintain this web site (one who owns and one other who helps maintain, I understand) are limited, and my proposal has been to start by making wider use of the facility that we already have available, "clunky" though it may be. If the members here feel that the bother outweighs the usefulness (which would be the implication if they don't use it), then they must not consider the usefulness to be very high, and I don't see much point in investing in an alternative.

But I'm hoping that others will help me in demonstrating that it is worthwhile and increase the usage to the point that it will be worth it for Paul to consider an "upgrade".


Edited by JimLucas, 30 December 2014 - 01:13 PM.


#6 lachenal74693

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Posted 31 December 2014 - 02:28 AM

>...But maybe I misunderstood what you meant by "this sort of calendar"?...

 

I meant the sort of calendar which is displayed when I press the 'calendar'

button at the top of the concertina.net pages. A calendar based on a 'traditional'

paper wall calendar. I have similar wall calendar based 'reminder/events/scheduling'

programs on my iPad, on my two PC's and on my two tablets. I don't use 'em for

my own scheduling, and the organisation with which I am most closely involved

appears to have just abandoned the calendar based system for time-sorted

lists of their different types of 'event'. My observations, such as they were, were

based on this fact.

 

It occurs to me that on cnet, a 'list' could be split into geographically separated

sub-lists. A squeezer down here in the West Country is unlikely to be able to

often go to events in (say) North America or Australia, so localised sub-lists for

Europe, N. America, Australasia, etc. might be useful? Don't know - I am

concentrating on whether the boat needs a new bowsprit at the moment!

 

>...What, aside from the display format, do you find "clunky" about "this sort of

>calendar"..

 

If I have understood correctly, your subsequent post regarding the inability to

easily move beyond the end of 2014 is one item. Also, the fact that unless it is

a very busy calendar, much of the available space is empty, and therefore 'wasted'.

 

>...The resources ...of those who own and maintain this web site...are limited...

 

All the more reason to go for a cheap(er), quick(er), simple(er) alternative, whatever

that might be? As I say earlier, the Pilgrim BM45 organisation (I am a director of

this similarly strapped-for-cash, resource-limited, not-for-profit company) seem

to have abandoned their website calendar for a list (or lists), and I'm pretty sure

this was done on the grounds of ease of both use and maintainability.

 

Roger


Edited by lachenal74693, 31 December 2014 - 02:34 AM.





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