After our last TidBITS Presents event (see “Watch TidBITS Presents “Protecting Your Digital Life”,” 22 August 2012), a number of people complained rightly that we hadn’t given them sufficient notice (the issue arrived on Monday night; the presentation was Wednesday afternoon). Sorry! Clearly, I needed to pay more attention to the lessons I shared in “Think Like a Publisher” (12 October 2012), specifically putting myself in the shoes of our readers (who shouldn’t be expected to read TidBITS as soon as it arrives) and providing information in multiple ways.
To help prevent such problems in the future, I’ve created a public TidBITS Events calendar on iCloud to publish all the public events in which any TidBITS staff member is participating. You can subscribe to the calendar merely by clicking the TidBITS Events link and acknowledging the subscription in Calendar or iCal (BusyCal just adds it quietly without bothering you). I recommend you set the calendar to auto-refresh daily, not weekly. We’ve also added a Calendar link in the nav bar of the TidBITS site in case you need to find it later.
Also, to make sure events come through with the proper times, make sure to turn on time zone support. In Calendar, choose Preferences, click Advanced, and then select Turn On Time Zone Support.
In keeping with my dictum to put myself in the shoes of my subscribers, I’ll try hard to ensure that there are no reminder alerts associated with these events, since most people won’t want them. If you do want a reminder for an event, copy it to one of your own calendars and add the reminder that makes sense for you. (In Calendar, just drag the event to a new calendar in the sidebar; in BusyCal, you’ll have to copy and paste the event.) I’ll also make an effort to include relevant URLs whenever possible. We’ll still announce major events in TidBITS itself, but minor events or those that few people are likely to be able to attend may appear only in the TidBITS Events calendar.
I’ve now added all my upcoming events — mostly my “Working with the Press” panel for developers at the MacTech Conference 2012 on 19 October 2012 and the MUGONE meeting in Oneonta, NY on 1 November 2012 — to the calendar so you can see where to find me, and I’ll be adding events for other TidBITS staffers as they come up. Going forward, we’ll add events as soon as we have a set date, but some less formal events, like our public staff meetings, may not have a ton of advance warning, purely because even we don’t always know exactly when we’ll be holding them much in advance (hence my suggestion to update the calendar daily rather than weekly).
If you have any questions or suggestions, let me know in the comments! This is my first experience publishing via a shared calendar, and although I’ve tried to anticipate everything, I’m all ears if I’ve missed something.