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Community Building and User Generated Content Forum

    
Forum Calendars
Who uses them?
rogerd




msg:1558731
 1:31 am on Sep 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Most forums come with calendars these days, with the ability to track member birthdays, important events, etc. Has anyone found good use for this feature?

On a new forum launch, I just spent some time deleting all calendar stuff in the code... but did I do wrong?

 

vkaryl




msg:1558732
 2:10 am on Sep 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

I only use phpBB, and the only calendric options for it are hacks, so I haven't had to mess with it. The fora I run don't need/require that sort of thing so far, and it's just one more thing (if you use it) to a: keep track of; b: to break.

I DO use calendars on a couple of sites where schedules are important - but not the "forum" sort. These are run with perl....

EliteWeb




msg:1558733
 7:07 am on Sep 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Ive seen calendar data used here and on other forums that have a following. People saying happy birthday. :) Generally to the people who post tons or want to increase post counts :P

Snow




msg:1558734
 7:33 am on Sep 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm using the calendar on my forum, it's not posed any problems and members have found it useful for seeing who has their birthday and who's on vacation. But, we do have a min posts per month requirement for a seperate free service that we provide so members do post in the calendar to inform us that they're on holiday and can't visit the forum this month (and hence their account isn't deleted). If there wasn't a minimum post per month requirement I doubt anyone would use the calendar other than to see who has a birthday. With the forum software that we're using there is the option to make multiple private calendars but I doubt anyone would use a personal calendar.

rogerd




msg:1558735
 2:00 pm on Sep 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Members get deleted if they don't post for a month? That's one way to keep the membership roster uncluttered...

I find it difficult to get excited about maintaining calendar functionality so that members can see when others have birthdays. Maybe that would be fun in a very "touchy-feely" community, but I find the giant lists of "Today's Birthdays" on some forums an annoying waste of home page real estate and bandwidth.

Snow




msg:1558736
 4:36 pm on Sep 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Members get deleted if they don't post for a month? That's one way to keep the membership roster uncluttered...
lol We give them free hosting without ads but in exchange they have to come and post in our forum which does have ads......... well nothing is ever free. ;)
Shannon Moore




msg:1558737
 3:59 am on Sep 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

On one of our content sites, we use the calendar functionality to list events or dates in history that are relevant to the community. For example, an aviation-related community would have the Wright Brothers' first flight from Kitty Hawk, NC as an event in the calendar, as well as National Aviation Day (U.S.A.) or upcoming airshows.

I've found most forum-bundled calendars are not as robust as I'd like, so for a hard core events-centered site (say a dating service that has many events every day/week for members to sign up and attend) more robust features might be necessary.

rogerd




msg:1558738
 1:36 pm on Sep 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

> upcoming airshows
> dating events

Those are a couple of good examples of using a forum calendar to support a community. More generally, I suppose, any forum community with a "real world" component like meetups, conferences, special interest group meetings, or even planned chat sessions could benefit from a calendar.

kodaks




msg:1558739
 1:53 pm on Sep 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

My whole website revolves around the forum's calendar. My site is a local events website, so the calendar is extremely helpful.

With a forum that doesn't have anything to do with events or gatherings, I think deleting the calendar is fine. It's probably just more work than you need to keep the calendar up to date and censored.

kriskd




msg:1558740
 8:10 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

I also run a local forum, so I find the calendar useful. My forum is for my neighborhood -- about 200 households or so and about 45 are members of the forum. We just started up so I'm doing the majority of the posting and don't have a lot of time to fill up the calendar. Others have put local events, etc. on it though.

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