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I hope I haven't missed that this feature already exists. If it doesn't, then please read on.

I'm a User Group Manager and I've been looking for better places to promote the group's meetings. I've also been looking for UGs dealing in related technologies in my area, but sometimes that's a harder search than you'd expect. In addition, there are a number of online presentations that I hear about after the fact, some are and some aren't recorded.

Would it be possible to create a Community Calendar where each entry could be tagged similar to a regular post? We could then have today's or upcoming events display on question pages. In addition, you could find any type of event using the same method as do for a selected subject.

e.g.: Using the URL for questions, stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/jquery, we could then have stackoverflow.com/events/tagged/jquery or stackoverflow.com/calendar/tagged/jquery

In doing so, we could see a cross-selection of events that are occurring on a daily basis, online or in your area.

What do you think?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 30 down vote accepted
+200

Update:

We'll be rolling an initial implementation of this out on some sites to promote Stack Overflow Meetups!

For now, only moderators can create new events, and there are no tag associations. We'll probably work out the kinks on the smaller sites before opening it up more on Stack Overflow.


I think it's a great idea!

This has been on my list to respond to for a while, but sorta slipped my memory... Until this morning I saw this: Provide a non-system-message channel for moderators to contact all users

We already have this feature! (It just won't work for this purpose)

A bit of background: there's already a rudimentary calendar built into the system, in the form of Chat Events:

Upcoming events listed in chat

Users can associate events with rooms and register for upcoming events, with in-chat and email notification. Events created by ordinary users have no visibility on the main site itself. However, moderator-created events have additional side-effects:

What it looks like when a moderator schedules an event

Moderator-led events have the additional advantage of being heralded via Twitter and in a system message on the main site for an hour prior to the event.

That's great, but it doesn't really help if the event isn't in chat

Right. So chat events are all well and good, for stuff that happens in chat, doesn't need to be announced too far ahead of time, and doesn't last very long. But it's less than ideal for meet-ups, challenge events, or even re-occurring GTKY sessions where folks might want to plan ahead a bit.

So... let's open it up! Why not allow creating "events" that last for days, are associated with a meta post instead of a chat room, and get a permanent, visible announcement on the front page of the site? There's some precedent for this after all: Photography.SE has had a running announcement of their Featured Image challenge since they launched:

What the front page announcement looks like on photo.se

I don't think most sites need that much screen real estate devoted to this, but that'd be something for the designers to worry about; the default could be something fairly small, perched at the top of the right-hand sidebar:

A mock-up of what an active event might look like on the front page of a site Another mock-up

Your idea to use tags to filter events based on what tag you're viewing is great - and on a site the size of Stack Overflow, it'd be absolutely essential to keeping some semblance of order. There should be a master list of all scheduled events (in or out of chat) available too, but for the main page and questions pages (tag-filtered or otherwise), I think a simple priority system would work to keep the most relevant event(s) displayed (and make sure there's always something to fill that spot, even if nothing is explicitly scheduled):

  1. Events in progress
  2. Next upcoming event
  3. Newest [featured] post on Meta
  4. Newest [discussion] post on Meta
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+1 Nice! I hope the last two screenshots become reality! I am not sure it has been said explicitly, but since I think they would be manually set, would that be a mod-only feature? –  Alenanno Jan 24 '12 at 21:52
    
I think mods + high-rep users could have access. Mod-access being primarily for site-wide promotional events and sites / tags without any high-rep users. –  Shog9 Jan 24 '12 at 22:14
    
"...and sites / tags without any high-rep users", what does that mean? Sorry, I can't understand it. –  Alenanno Jan 24 '12 at 22:17
    
@Alenanno that's 'cause I really need to flesh this idea out some more - the way I'm picturing it in my head is something like the tag wikis, where enough rep in a tag gets you write access to the calendar for that tag, and enough rep on the site gets you the same thing site-wide. –  Shog9 Jan 24 '12 at 22:23
    
I see. I'll be looking forward to the definitive and complete description of the feature, when and if it'll be implemented. :) My idea, if I can say it, was that site-events would better be mod-only, in order to avoid too many people having the privileges of it, but as I said, it's just an idea. –  Alenanno Jan 24 '12 at 23:11
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I'm not a huge fan of making too much stuff mod-only; it doesn't scale, and it forces mods into the role of site babysitters - which they may or may not want. Better to give the folks who are heavily involved the ability to help guide the site. –  Shog9 Jan 25 '12 at 1:17
    
"site babysitters" :D I see your point. Well, after all users with high-rep are "trusted" even the SE system is organized like that so it makes sense. If the feature gets "real", will this be the place to read about it, or should we expect a new meta question? Thanks for the patience! :) –  Alenanno Jan 25 '12 at 9:28
    
if / when this happens, there'll be docs here, probably a blog post, eeek! questions... the usual ;-) –  Shog9 Jan 25 '12 at 12:23

This could be great and solve a real world problem.

We could use the rep system to control who can post events and to allow past events to be reviewed, but only for people with some rep in the given tag. Tags can be used to allow people to find events, with a field added to the user profile for location (defaulted from careers when set there) – so adverts could be shown for local events.

The locations of people that have extended in past, could be used to work out the area someone is likely to travel to an event from – I don’t wish to be told about events in London!.

A event’s page could be very like a tag’s wiki page in how it is controlled.

Everyone in a user group that looks that the group’s event details will get to know about the stack exchange site that covers it, so it will be good advertising for the main sites.

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