On the occasion of #opendataweek and prompted by kind remarks of a fellow user, I’d like to resurrect an old discussion about a community API. Starting with calendars, which might play well with a directory. It’s nice that we have a network events category, but I find this hard to use it for actual planning when they are not listed chronologically, and missing some key metadata (i.e. how relevant, how far is it, …).
In our local chapter, we have been running an unofficial catch-all (i.e. anything we hear about and anyone who submits anything open-related) Google calendar, from where they get promoted to a Discourse thread, get shared in chats/social media, and once they become official they are posted to our blogs and sent out in newsletters. For hackathons we have a special site based on our own tool:
I don’t think we should necessarily reinvent wheels and build our own calendar - these days it’s just a pretty standard CMS module - but I do think the possibility to track information in the network through open data best practices - publishing and aggregating an open event dataset (via an open schema, e.g. see our technical discussion around dribdat) should come to the fore.
Looking at other communities, it seems that efforts like this are best motivated by a clear functional value (ROI, if you like). Like software release calendars, we should keep track of the essential outputs of events, the seasonal cycles of our activities, and make sure that they have a clear stated purpose in coordination. In the case of our local chapter, channeling the attention of our community across hackathons and conferences is a clear value case.
And, speaking of not reinventing wheels:
I’m sure a lot of you have come across some good examples, and I’m interested to hear what other chapters are doing. Keeping track of each other and connecting is essential to what we do, and our ideas should should help OKI make plans to better network our communities! So hit reply and tell me about your community calendar.
PS. the subject of the topic is inspired by Lanyrd API, Where Are You?