I’m involved in the organisation of the June 8th, IT@Cork Web 2.0 mini-conference, as I have mentioned previously.
I’ve set up an IT@Cork Web 2.0 calendar with Google Calendar. It has the schedule for the talks and a bloggers dinner the evening before which Damien is organising (thanks Damien!).
The calendar has two ways you can subscribe to it and keep up-to-date with the conference. You can subscribe to the iCal feed with any ical enabled application (Like OS X’s iCal, or Google Calendar) or you can subscribe to the XML feed with any RSS reader.
If any changes are made to the schedule (frankly, at this stage, I don’t anticipate any but you never know) the calendar will be updated and you will see the change automatically in your calendar app or RSS reader.
I recently decided to re-visit the online calendar issues I wrote about previously. Since writing that piece, Bernard informed me of a site called iCal Exchange which allows publishing and subscribing of iCal calendars. This service was ok but I had connectivity issues with it from time to time plus I didn’t want to have to publish from all my machines, and then subscribe to them all to keep track of all my data! There had to be a better way.
Narendra from 30Boxes contacted me to tell me about their Import function which would, he said, allow me to import my data from iCal into 30Boxes. However when I tried it I was presented with a list of the over 300 items in my iCal export and asked to select all the items I wanted to import individually! This would have taken waaaaay too long so I didn’t bother (why couldn’t they have a simple Select All button on the Import page? How difficult would that be?).
So I decided to trial Google Calendar and I quite liked it.
- The interface is slick and extremely straightforward
- The Quick add works brilliantly to simply add events
- The sharing facility allows you to share your calendar with named individuals or to have it completely open. People can subscribe to your calendar using an RSS reader of an iCal compliant app.
- The Import facility just works
- There are reminders on the events but they are not granular (i.e. you set a reminder time like 10 minutes before and you are alerted 10 minutes before every event!)
- The biggest gripe I have with Google Calendar is that the Export facility is not obvious (you have to go into the Settings -> Calendars ->Sharing ->Calendar Details to find the subscription address to download your calendar via iCal or RSS!)
The reminders issue is trivial and I am sure one which Google will address in time. The fact that the Export facility is hard to find may turn people off using Google Calendar (for a while i didn’t think there was a way to Export from Google Calendar and this would have stopped me from using it). Other than that, Google Calendar is a great app – as long as you don’t mind Google knowing your every move, I strongly recommend it!