Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A Question...

[Edit: images added below]

I have a question to ask. I regularly maintain a calendar of film events in Outlook. I keep track of festivals, film release schedules, miscellaneous screenings and film-related events that pertain to Melbourne. For some months, I've been uploading these to a custom Google calendar that I created and have embedded in the sidebar of this blog. What I'd like to know is if anyone reading this blog actually uses it. Is it of any value to anyone? If so, I'll continue to share the good oil and if not, I'll save myself the effort and just keep it to myself on my home machine.

I'm interested to know if any readers of Melbourne Film Blog subscribe to the calendar. So, if you have anything to say or suggest, now's your chance.

Edit here: If you have set up a Google Calendar account (it takes one minute), clicking on the button at the bottom of the Melbourne Film Blog calendar will subscribe you to the calendar. Then, whenever you go to Google Calendar, you'll see the events as in this image here (click to see full size).

By clicking on an item, you have the option to copy from my calendar to yours. For example, you could add the film events that interest you, then uncheck Melbourne Film Blog calendar so that you only see the films on your calendar that interest you.

To see the details of an individual event, you click on an item and select the option to see the details, which look like this image here (again, click on the image to see full size).

I suppose not too many people are aware of this Google product which really is quite ingenius. I acknowledge it's a little rough around the edges, particularly when viewed from a blog, but if you get your head around it (and it doesn't take long), it has all sorts of uses. You can search Google Calendars for other events and compile all sorts of things that can appear on your one calendar, and filter them by selecting or deselecting each calendar you've subscribed to.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would say the calendar is too cumbersome to use on the wide like that. You can't read anything unless you click on it and even then it's not ideal. I would have that calendar as a link to see the whole calendar one one full page rather than on the wide column.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Yeah, I don't tend to use it, but I've never been game to figure out how to follow it. Although looking at it just now I noticed there's a focus on Gus Van Sant. Interesting.

Paul Martin said...

OK, how's this? I've changed the options so that the 'Agenda' style appears by default and you can select 'Week' or 'Month' views.

I think the real value of using a Google Calendar is only realised if you register with Google Calendar. Once you have registered, you can subscribe to any other Google calendar that others (like myself) make available. As you select a calendar to subscribe to, the events appear on your calendar. Your events appear one colour, and the events of subsequent calendars each appear a different colour (which you can customise).

Meanwhile, if anyone knows of a better calendar widget, please let me know.

Anonymous said...

I don't use it, but that's because I live in Sydney!

Cibbuano said...

Sorry, that was me...

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

I've not noticed it til now, but if it sticks around, I'll be using it from now on. I can't be bothered to register with Google Calendars though - I've already got more accounts than I wanna keep track of.

filmnut said...

Paul, I just registered with Google calendar and it works. I just received a new iMac this week so getting used to everything and have registered for more things that I care to remember.

Paul Martin said...

Goran, if you have a Google account, you just sign in with that (and I stay signed in).

Filmnut, it certainly does. I got the idea from Matt from Last Night With Riviera. You may recall I had a shared calendar dedicated for MIFF. In that case, the settings were a little different, and those who agreed were able to add the MIFF sessions they were attending so we could see who was where and when. It enabled us to catch up during the festival. I think it's worth learning to navigate these calendars because they can be very useful in a variety of ways.

For me, it's great to be able to access at work the same film release info I have on my home computer.

Paul Martin said...

Cibby, I should mention that the calendar entries includes national film release dates, which are generally (though not always) the same for Melbourne and Sydney.

The entries that are time-specific are screenings at particular Melbourne cinemas; the other entries are usually the release dates.