Show & Tell
A few days ago we launched a new web service we’ve had in the making for the last couple of months. It’s called Show & Tell and is basically an online calendar for lectures, book releases, artist talks, and other events in Stockholm containing some sort of showing and telling. The idea is incredibly simple, but up until now there was no website gathering all such events. Sure, many do exist on Facebook, but not nearly all of them, and there is a lot to wish for when working with and/or subscribing to Facebook events (to not mention the fact that Facebook owns all the content). Since we anyway would add everything interesting to a shared work calendar, the step to making a new calendar and publish it online was very easy.
Google CalendarThe calendar uses Google Calendar as its backbone. A calendar (called www.showtell.se) on Gcal is shared between us and a bunch of friends in different corners of the Stockholm cultural world. The calendar is then published using the built-in Gcal widget on a webpage hosted by us; www.showandtell.se (or www.showtell.se). Events can be added by the editors straight to gCal, or though iCal (/Outlook/etc) and automaticly synced with gCal using for example Spanning Sync.
CalinkerA few years ago we created a very simple service called Calinker. Its purpose was to reduce the number of times you and your friends/guests/coworkers etc have to enter the exact same calendar information to your own calendars. So instead of just sending your friends a date and location when the next dinner party is, with Calinker you can create that event one time and instead just share the link. The user can download the ICS-file to their own calendar software of choice (like Outlook, Apple iCal, Google Calendar etc).
Create events from e-mailOne smart feature with Calinker is the the possibilty to email events from any email address and in return get a link to a automaticly created event at Calinker.com (example), with all the info already filled in. When finding an event of interest online, all a S&T editor needs to do is use the ‘mail contents of this page’ feature in Safari, e-mail the event to Calinker, get a link in return, click the ICS-file and add the event to iCal that automaticly syncs itself onto S&T via Spanning Sync and Gcal. This of course works great with event invitations via email too; just forward the email to Calinker and get a link in return with the ICS file.
Suggest eventsA lot of features we wanted on S&T (like maps, ICS-generation etc) already existed on Calinker so we wanted to re-use as much as possible for Show & Tell, especially for the ‘suggest’ feature (where people can suggest/inform us on new events). Using the inofficial Calinker API, we just post the event info from S&T to Calinker (via a proxy to allow cross domain AJAX) and the editors get an e-mail back with the ICS link, ready for Google Calendar. This was the most simple way of dealing with the suggest feature since we could re-use many parts we already had built for Calinker.
Making Show & Tell SEO friendlySince all the content is taken from a Google Calendar and just embedded on our website with an iframe, the site’s real content cannot be indexed by search engines (the only content a search engine would find is generic info such as about texts and headers). To work around this, once a day we automatically take the calendar’s RSS feed (available for all public Google Calendars) and render it as a hidden (as in
LinklistsShow & Tell also contains two linklists, both showing off linkli.st‘s potential as a lofi CMS: The first one is quite obvious; the tab called ‘Online lectures’ is basically an embedded linklist (original here), making it possible for us to update S&T straight from linkli.st. The second one is a bit more secret; The list of all editors of the site, under ‘About’ (original here). This is simply because editors might be added over time, and it’s easier to use linklist when adding an editor than having to bump an update of the complete S&T website.
Visit the site here: www.showandtell.se
Twitter reminders: www.twitter.com/showtellse
Facebook as RSS reader: www.facebook.com/pages/Show-Tell/271553430665
Peter Ström (Konst & Teknik) and Martin Ström, January 2010