At the top of my wishlist: a good RSS calendaring tool that would let me share my whereabouts with friends, family and well-wishers. (If anyone has a technology that can specifically exclude ill-wishers, so much the better.) The absolute minimum that I need is something that outputs my upcoming travels and conferences as an RSS feed that I can stick in a “where’s Alex?” section of my sidebar.
That’s what I thought I’d get from RSSCalendar.com. (Hell, they’ve got the URL right, and that’s a start.) RSS Calendar is what it says it is: a calendar that lets you add events, share them with friends (it lets you set different privacy levels for different events — good idea!) and then (so the site promises) add the resulting RSS output to your web site via a single line of code.
But I never got that far because I reached the point of exasperation way before then.
No, it wasn’t when I realized that the site was based on categories instead of tags (d’oh!). Here’s one place I’d think tagging would be a no-brainer: after all, I don’t want to have to put BlogHer in either conferences OR travel OR technology: I want it in all three. But RSS Calendar lets you pick only one — not a great move, but believe it or not I actually found it within myself to pardon this shortcoming and plow ahead.
Which is how I had the opportunity to discover that RSS Calendar limits events to a single day! That’s just madness. I want to mark down our upcoming two-week trip to San Francisco as a single event — not as fourteen day-long events. So that’s when I gave up.
The upside of that downside is that it now leaves me free to troll for a better option. What would RSS calendaring look like if it were done right? Well ideally it would include:
- multiple privacy levels, customizable by event
- option of e-mailing people to invite them to events if they’re not RSS users (even I have yet to break off social relations with the non-RSS world)
- integration with (cough cough) Entourage or Outlook for those of us who are weak-minded followers of the leading desktop calendaring options
- tagging of events (including options for multiple tags)
- RSS feeds for all scheduled events or for specific tags (so that I could post on my blog only events I tag “public”)
- inbound aggregation of other RSS feeds so I can subscribe to my husband’s, colleagues’, and friends’ calendars and see when we can potentially intersect.
Does anyone have a tool or tools to nominate that could — singly or in combination — do the job? Other candidates I’m investigating: PHP iCalendar (which works with iCal) and Upcoming.org (which turns out to be for scheduling public events, not tracking personal whereabouts.)