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Josie Fraser :: Blog :: Web2 app review: CalendarHub

May 11, 2007

For my Web2 app review I’ve chosen CalendarHub, an online social calendar developed by WiredBlue, a development team who work with Ruby on Rails.

Why CalendarHub?

The problem with app reviews is that you can’t just wheel them out. Sure, you can give a breakdown of comparative service features (although you will have to sort this out yourself for most new applications), and this can help you narrow the field down as long as you already have a fairly good idea of why you want to use a service in the first place and what your potential future needs may be.

I started using CalendarHub in February. This has given me a reasonable time to evaluate day-to-day issues with the service, as well as down time and other disruptions to service – an important consideration with start-ups.

I started by reading a bunch of calendar app reviews, and checking out feature sets as well as whether or not I liked the look of the application – aesthetics being a deeply subjective but never the less important issue.

Good stuff.

CalendarHub looked clean and simple. It provides multiple group calendars to the same account (making it possible to hold family, personal, group and work dates in the same place). Its free. It provides rss feeds for public calendars (and allows sharing, although this involves the person you want to share with subscribing to CalendarHub – a regular feature of all calendar services but one that it would be great to not have to deal with). It boasts a drag and drop interface (useful, although infrequently). It also has reasonable import and export options – which was the deciding factor for me. I want to be able to feed in data from other sources (in this case, my Nokia calendar) as well as take out info (in case I decide to abandon ship, or need to use another service for any reason.)

So how have I found it?

A couple of things about the calendar annoy me at low level on a daily basis.

I have to enter the first letter of my username to get the site to ‘automatically’ remember my log in details, and then hit return, every time I go to the site. Only me and my son use this computer – when I check the ‘remember me’ button on services I really mean it. I have the same problem with MySpace. This may just be an issue with Safari, but it really bugs me.

Also, I’ve found switching between pages/months is slow.

Entering information, setting up repeat events etc is reasonably strait forward. I’ve found the service as a whole to be useful and user friendly. Importing from other calendars was a snap, but iCal export doesn’t seem to work, and I’ve had problems with the CVS file. Still - services that boast easy exportability and interoperability but fail to live up to their promise aren't exactly a huge shock ;-)

All these things I can actually put up with. What actually put me off using the service (and it takes a lot, once you’ve been with anything for a few months) was a melt down:

On Apr 22, 2007, at 5:26 AM Josie Fraser Wrote:

> Hi - I recently set up a calendar called Emerge within my account 
> - this calendar is being used by a HE project exploring web 2.0 
> tools for collaboration - and the calendar has just vanished! 
> Please please please take a look at my account and let me know what 
> has happened asap - so I know whether to shift the project calendar 
> to another service or not. Best, Josie.

We had a problem with the server that affected a few accounts.
We have taken steps to ensure that this problem will not happen in 
the future.

You may need to create the calendar again.
I apologize for the inconvenience.


I’d started using CalendarHub for the Emerge events feed, but unfortunately the server problem had taken the whole Emerge calendar out – and the backup seemed to stop short of any of the events I’d entered over the past couple of weeks. Obviously, this was a bit of a nightmare, especially since the calendar was already being syndicated to the Emerge site. What could I do? I shifted everything over to Goggle calendar:

(needs a Google account) or the feed address is: http://feeds.feedburner.com/EmergeProject

We are currently working on a submission page - in the meantime, if you know of any events that might be of interest you the community, please do mail them in to me.  


Overview for Keywords: applications, calendar, emerge app review, events, organisation, Web 2.0

Blogs with Keywords: applications, calendar, emerge app review, events, organisation, Web 2.0

Posted by Josie Fraser


Comments

  1. I'm glad you're using GoogleCalendar, Josie. I also use it so I've added the Emerge calendar to mine and now those events show up in a different colour on the same page - cool! (BTW - anyone who wants to get a GoogleMail account, let me know and I'll send an invitation.)

    Tony. 

    Tony LindeTony Linde on Saturday, 12 May 2007, 08:48 BST # |

  2. Glad it's worked out for you. In an ideal online world, you'd be able to feed the Emerge dates from any calendar to any other. But for now, the mighty Google empire will have to house us. 

    Josie FraserEmerge info on Saturday, 12 May 2007, 08:57 BST # |

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