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Why I integrate Google Calendars into clients' sites PDF Print E-mail
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News - Web Development
Written by Tim Black   
Friday, 10 October 2008 12:46

I integrate Google Calendars into my clients' websites because Google Calendars are free, allow group sharing & editing, integrate multiple calendars into one, and are very easy to syndicate.

Let me explain by way of an example. I have a lot of calendar events to keep track of--my wife and my schedules, anniversaries & birthdays for family & friends, events at church, at my business, clients' calendars, and as a pastor, various community calendars scattered throughout multiple websites and printed publications. I really don't want to compare multiple calendars with each other every time I add an event to my own personal calendar.

Too many calendars!

So I've grouped all the events I can control in separate calendar files under one Google Calendar user account. I open my Google Calendar and all my different events display in one unified view. My wife and I share some calendar files so we can both edit them, even simultaneously from different locations.

Ahh, one calendar

But the events I can't control still live in websites & newsletters where I have to manually enter them into my calendar if I can find the time. What's more, if I install a calendar for my clients that can't easily be syndicated via RSS and thereby integrated into another calendar, too often the client simply doesn't use the calendar. Disconnected calendars are an evil; even a result of the Fall and probably of Babel. But there is a solution.

Not integrated!

Normally I'm not real excited about retyping someone else's calendar events. But in one case I did type them in: I want to go to my local high school's sports events to get to know people in the community, so I added all the high school's sports events to my calendar, in its own calendar file. Google makes it easy to put that calendar into any web page by inserting a little code Google provides, which results in a calendar like the one below.


New and improved!

Works great! So now I know what's going down at the football stadium. And what's cool is all my friends can add these events to their own calendar by clicking the "+ Google Calendar" button at the bottom. But I don't want to add the high school's events to this calendar every time the high school's own calendar changes. Nor do I want to be promoted to the "Calendar editor" position at the high school. They already pay someone to do that.

So I shared the calendar with her and gave her editing privileges. She can give editing privileges to anyone else she needs to in the school, and create and integrate different calendars for other kinds of school events (PTA, School Board, clubs, etc.) Now all that needs to happen for me, my friends, and any parent in the school district to have a perfectly up-to-date calendar is:

  • for the right school administrator to approve replacing the school's current calendar with a Google Calendar,
  • for them to approve posting the little bit of code above into their calendar page on their website,
  • and for people who visit the calendar to add it to their own personal calendar.
Last Updated on Monday, 13 October 2008 13:51
 

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