Saturday, November 16, 2019

Organizing regular meetings

I posted the following question on reddit:

We are a small team that organizes regular public meetings in different places of our town. The meetings repeat weekly or monthly, with possible exceptions. We’d like to publish an online calendar where people can easily know where and when the upcoming meetings are. The responsibility for keeping the calendar up to date relies on several persons. We don’t have any office room. Which solution would you recommend? We are ready to pay a reasonable monthly amount. But no proprietary software please.

I tried on Facebook but that was just a waste of time. Managing recurrent events in collaboration with others is a horror there.

I had the idea of trying on Google as well. I went to my Google calendar, Settings, Create a new calendar, and voilà! Done after 10 minutes!

I can make the result of my work public using a shareable link, or I can add it as a frame to any website.

This is probably the easiest and most practical solution for us. The data is our own and we can theoretically export it and store it for our archives. I must admit once more that Google is frighteningly good.

An alternative would be which would cost 59,94 USD every 6 months, but has the advantage that it might help people to find us. OTOH Neither Google nor Meetup use Free Software.

Using either of them has some disadvantages: other team members need an account, our work would get disturbed if Google or Meetup would decide to stop their service. Also we give them permission to use our data (no real issue for us because anyway our goal is to share it with everybody). The fundamental problem remains that they use proprietary software. I will invest time for learning how to use their service and entering data into their database, which basically means that I help them to become better.