The Santa Cruz Community Calendar publicizes local events and participatory opportunities, and enables groups to coordinate scheduling to avoid conflicts when events might appeal to similar audiences.
The Calendar was started in September 2016, initially as a way to inform people around Santa Cruz County about the outpouring of activity leading up to the November elections. As participation grew after the election, the Calendar expanded its scope to include all kinds of activities in our region.
The Calendar is currently in use by about forty groups in the Santa Cruz County region. Participating groups are provided login access for posting their activities. This access may be obtained either by direct contact with the calendar administrator or by attending occasional demo/trainings in which the Calendar is explained and group representatives are enrolled for access.
The Calendar works by having member organizations posting their own listings. Membership is open to community groups, non-profits, political groups, unions, educational & cultural organizations, and similar non-commercial organizations.
The Calendar is designed to be mostly self-running, with event postings done directly by member groups themselves. This design differs from many online calendars in that it does not depend on curation, through which someone seeks out and collects events to list, and it also doesn't require moderation of posts to ensure legitimacy and delete spam or attack postings.
Each Calendar listing provides the date, time, location, and description of the activity, along with details such as RSVP contact information, venue accessibility, any ticket or other admission charges and uses of funds raised, links to the sponsor group's own website, volunteer opportunities, and downloadable materials.
Besides including a rich set of details about each listing, the Calendar provides a growing set of informational categories tailored to specific types of listings; currently categories include general Events along with Government Agency meetings and Organizational meetings. Coming soon: categories for classes and cultural events, and more as we engage additional groups.
Recurring listings may be easily added in one step, so regular meetings, classes, and repeating activities are easy to post.
In addition to posting events to the public Calendar, member groups may also place holds on dates/times they are considering for events. Holds are visible only to member groups, and do not appear on the public view. This allows groups to coordinate with each other to avoid potential schedule conflicts before setting final dates and posting to the general public. Each group's contact person is listed with email and phone in a roster that the other groups may access to enable coordination.
The Calendar is accessible via any web browser, both for public viewing and for member group access. No other software or installation is required. Most representatives of participating groups have needed only brief demonstrations and instruction in how to post; the core team has provided additional assistance to those who need it to get up to speed.
While online resources are not restricted geographically, the intention of the Calendar is to feature activities of interest to people in the general region of Santa Cruz County; however, that does not restrict postings only to activities located in the County, and of course anyone with online access may see the public view of the Calendar.