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Create a Calendar for Your Site

Want to start your own Calendar? Or display listings from the People and Planet Calendar on your site?

If you're thinking of starting your own calendar, think carefully! It takes a lot of effort to build and sustain one. There are already thousands of calendars on the web. For a variety of reasons, the vast majority are underused, ineffective, or are popular for a while but soon fail.

Option 1: Get a Canned Solution

There are various prefab calendars available, often as part of a CMS / Content Management System. They often look neat but do a very poor job of what a calendar is supposed to do – get people to attend or participate at events. Many prefab calendars are good at coordinating team or staff schedules. But none of them serve well as community events calendars.

Also, while prefab calendars may be easy to install, that's just the beginning. The ongoing research, editing, moderation and promotion required, can prove to be totally unsustainable.

Most importantly, is your goal to help the environment? If so, what sense does it make to contribute to a scenario where people have to search multiple calendars to find events? (They won't). And organizations, already pressed for time and funding, have to post their events on yet another calendar? (They usually won't.)

Option 2: Build it Yourself

Building a functional calendar takes a large amount of time, money and expertise. That's why so few exist. Also, as with prefab calendars, you're reinventing the wheel and helping create a fragmented, dysfunctional way of spreading the word about events.

If you are thinking of building your own calendar, contact us. We've built and refined ours for over five years, and can help you avoid some pitfalls.

Option 3: Collaborate with us and the broader community

So we implore you, please don't reinvent the wheel. If you're thinking of putting a calendar on your website, please consider the following options. And contact us to discuss the possibilities.

· A simple approach is to link to the People & Planet Calendar. You can link to the entire calendar - or specify a city, province or theme to display. If you don't want people to leave your website, you could display the calendar within a "frame" on your site. In either case, people can browse the calendar and post events to it, free of charge.

· Another simple option is to manually copy and paste listings from our calendar onto your site, newsletter or publication. We're fine with this, as long as you attribute us, e.g. "Source:". However, this approach is labour intensive and hard to sustain over time.

· Better yet, with the help of your webmaster, you can display listings from the Calendar right on your site, using a technique called RSS. This could take as little as a few minute's work for your webmaster. The listings will appear on your site, fitting into its look and feel. They will automatically be updated every day. And as above, visitors to your site can browse the calendar and post events to it, free of charge.

· Another option is for us to host your calendar. This is the most customizable approach, and will fit seamlessly into your site. A one-time setup fee would apply. As above, visitors to your site can browse the calendar and post events to it, free of charge.

· Whether you need to keep it simple - or have the resources to make a big splash - we invite you to contact us and discuss the possibilities. Our goal has always been to help the community, and we're saddened when we see people try to reinvent the wheel, without contacting those who have already been doing it for years. Whether you decide to collaborate with us, or go it alone, we invite you to contact us and discuss the options. We offer this as a free service and there is no fee.

· Contact Us
· About the People & Planet Calendar

If you have any questions or would like to contribute to the Calendar in any way, please let us know.

– Peter Blanchard
People and Planet

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