Calendar

Product: Hoop.la

Hello,

Our community has a very active calendar. In fact, it is our community's main draw. Unfortunately, its success has also made it nearly unusable. There are too many events (see image) compressed in the calendar and our users are unable to find relevant events.

Here are my questions:

  • Is there a better way to manage such an active calendar?
    • What are the best practices/solutions others have found?
  • Is there a way to export calendar data?
    • I suspect there are 2-3 distinctive categories of events based on duration. Knowing this would allow us to better sort these events. I want to analyse the data to validate this hypothesis.
  • What are the additional calendar options available? We currently have a very limited amount of control over what is displayed.

Thank you!

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This topic has been assigned to Dave Dreezer by Dave Dreezer.

You definitely need to use Categories (called Calendars in this module).  As you're aware, too much forest, can't see the trees. There are some events that are always there.  Do they need to be? And if so can they go into a different Calendar that will let some of the less often occurring events become visible?  Are there different departments that can use different Calendars? Work groups?

Calendars are easy to manage, just click Configure Calendar on the right, then click add calendar.  You can configure the permission on the new Calendar too, if you need to, so that only certain Circles can see or use a specific Calendar.  That also be used as a tool to help make the visibility become less overwhelming if people cannot even see Calendars that they don't need to interact with.

Having multiple Calendars will also let people follow just the Calendars they need to, potentially reducing the amount of notifications.  They could follow just one or several.

Events can be moved from Calendar to Calendar  just by editing them and changing the Calendar assignment from the pull down.

There is a way to export the data. It will be in .ics format, not in csv.  The good news is that if you google ics to csv there are dozens of tools that will do it for free.  You can also open and read an ics file with notepad or textmate. It's just plain text.

To get the data out in ics go to the calendar and from the pull down select a specific Calendar or All Calendars. On the right side select the Subscribe button.  Copy the URL from the pop-up and then paste it into the address bar of a new browser tab.  You should be prompted to add it to your calendar or download. Download it to your desktop and there you have it.

Another visibility idea that will really help is to set each Calendar's color to be different using CSS in your theme settings.

Here is what I have for mine  (the BRIGHT! colors are for demonstration)

.h-calendar-event-for-main-calendar  { background-color: #00ff00; }
.h-calendar-event-for-track-events { background-color: #0000ff; }

This will make the horizontal bar for each different Calendar a different color.  You can also change the text color and add a border if you need to.  You can get the CSS name by adding the Calendar ID (from the bottom of the settings page) to ".h-calendar-event-for-"

With the use of different Calendars, permissions for visibility, and the use of different colors for all of your Calendars you should be able to get the forest less dense and the individual trees more visible.

Hi,

Thanks for the reply. After looking at the ics data, it seems like the problem is long term events (ex: thing that happens ever Friday for 8 weeks) where people post the total duration instead of the individual event.

Is there a way to limit the duration of an event? 90% of our event are under 48h, so that seems like a good cut off point.

Thanks!

I think you're looking for recurring events, where say a meeting happens every Friday for the next 8 Fridays, because they are creating an event and stretching the event for 8 weeks instead of making 8 Friday events?

We don't have recurring events or a way to stop them from doing that short of just telling them not to and why.

I think a suggestion for recurring events is a good one. In fact, there is a suggestion for it which was posted here, which you might want to post to and up vote to make our opinion heard. It always helps.

Ok, that's unfortunate. I will add my vote to the thread for this feature from 2012.

Lastly, is there a way for the calendar page to display events from the current date as opposed to the whole month? Right now, the calendar page show events on April 1st, instead of starting on April 10th.

Thanks again.

No, it always shows the entire month, but something you might want to look into is the embedded widgets. You can make a custom widget which will only show future calendar events, which you can then embed in any web page, anywhere.  You can decide how many events to show, and you can add any CSS that you need to to make it reflect whatever page you display it on.

You'll find that in the control panel, under Design, Manage Widgets, Embedded Widgets tab.  Click Add Embedded Widget and choose Calendar.  You can click preview as you look at it to see what it will look like.  You can put that anywhere.  Click Embed Code to get the javascript for it.

You can even put that into a custom page, then change the site's navigation menu to point "Calendar" to that page instead of to the actual Calendar.  There will always be that link on the bottom that will go to the full Calendar. 

Give that a look, see if that type of display helps you out.

What you are proposing might solve the issue. Sounds like I need to replicate the calendar page with a new custom page.

  1. Where can I find the HTML embed code for the monthly calendar so it displays only one of the two calendars?
  2. How do I change the site's navigation to point to this new events page instead of the default calendar?
  3. Are they ways to have a more flexible calendar page?

1. When you create the embedded widget you'll see on the Settings tab a series of checkboxes for each of your calendars. You can select which Calendars to show, and how many entries you want to show.  Then click the tab that says Code, and there is the code.

You can create multiple widgets to do different Calendar combinations.  You're not limited to one.

2. In the control panel, under Community Menu you can hide the current Calendar item (trash can icon) and then click Add Menu Item to add in a new Calendar item with the URL that you want it to point to.  If you create a Custom page (control panel, near the very bottom, under Misc)  You'll see the URL for the new page once it has been created.  Use that URL for the new menu item.

3. There really isn't. I understand that the Calendar has become a prominent feature for you but for the Hoop.la platform as a hole the Calendar isn't generally used as a central focus, as the forums, blog, or customer support modules are, so it hasn't got all the features of a full Calendar application.

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