Three weeks ago I published a blog post Get the SQLBits agenda in your phone's calendar where I said:
If you want to get the SQLBits calendar onto your smartphone then the
easiest way to do it is add my calendar [containing all SQLBits sessions] to whichever calendar service
(i.e. Hotmail or Google) you have got synced to your phone and let
technology do its thing.
I will keep the calendar updated with any changes to the agenda so,
assuming you have subscribed, changes will just propogate to you without
you having to do anything.
This is not the first time I have published a subscribable calendar (I did it for the 2010 World Cup for example, I also curate a calendar for my home town) nor the first time I have opined about them. The reason I bang on about subscribable calendars (aka iCalendars) all the time is that I truly believe that they are a transformative technology. In my humble opinion the world would be a better place if it ran on iCalendar and I'm not the only one who thinks so, Scott Adams (yes, THAT Scott Adams) says the same (but in a much more coherent way) in his blog post Calendar as Filter.
My super-smart former colleague Howard van Rooijen is fond of saying work smarter, not harder and, to me, subscribable calendars are the epitome of that mantra. Why should many people do the same work of downloading .ics files and importing them to their own calendar service when the content owner can simply make that information available to anyone? That is my motivation for publishing these subscribable calendars - I want to motivate the content owners to publish this information for themselves.
With that in mind I am delighted to tell you that the SQLBits organising committee have taken this on board and published the SQLBits agenda as an iCalendar. One benefit of that is I don't have to go through the rigmarole of keeping my own calendar up to date but more importantly any changes to the SQLBits agenda (e.g. a room change) will automatically flow to your own calendar service and if you have that calendar service (e.g. Hotmail Calendar, Google Calendar) synced to your phone then the changes will automatically show up there too. Very cool!
That new SQLBits subscribable calendar lives at http://sqlbits.com/information/SQLBitsCalendar.ashx; note how it is not specific to a particular conference - subscribe to (don't import) that calendar and the agenda for future SQLBits conferences will automatically flow to you too. Want to subscribe to that calendar yourself? Click one of the following links:
- If you use Hotmail, click here
- If you use GMail/Google Calendar, click here
N.B. I am assuming that Hotmail & Google Calendar covers the majority of folks that are going to be reading this. If you use a different service (e.g. Yahoo) then perhaps you could find out what the appropriate link should be and it as a comment below.
You may also want to unsubscribe from my calendar because I am no longer going to keep it updated.
My thanks go to the SQLBits committee for doing this; more accurately the thanks should go to Simon Sabin because it was he that made this happen.
P.S. If you agree with me that iCalendar is a transformative technology and would like to get involved then take a look at Jon Udell's Elmcity project (FAQ) to curate your own calendar for your home town.
UPDATE: Some folks are saying that the link to Google Calendar produces the message: "You do not have access to <the calendar>". The exact same problem was reported with the calendar that I produced three weeks ago so I am assuming that the problem is at Google's end. The workaround is to subscribe to URL http://sqlbits.com/information/SQLBitsCalendar.ashx in Google Calendar by clicking Other calendars->Add by URL.