The primary purpose of iCalShare is to allow people to promote all types of sharable calendars they create and for others to have central resource to locate calendars of interest to them.
Since its’ launch in September 2002, iCalShare has swiftly grown to the largest directory of shareable calendars on the web, with over 1300 different calendars sorted into over 30 separate categories. Current categories are shown below and new categories are added as required. Support for categories based on Location will be added soon.
Patrick Crowley, the site founder, provides the iCalShare service free of charge – both for creating “ads” and to view and subscribe. You don’t even need to register to use the site, although that is recommended if you wish to publish calendars (so you get acknowledged for your contribution and can be contacted if there are any problems with your entry).
Each calendar has it’s own story or advertisement, where calendar publishers provide some brief information about the calendar’s purpose and other relevant information.
The entry I created for AUSOM, Australia’s Leading Apple Macintosh User Group, explains who they are, what information the calendar contains (meeting dates and special events) and a short blurb on what happens at those meetings. It then provides hyperlinks on where to obtain more information about the meeting locations.
You can use some basic HTML tags to create bold text, add images and create hyperlinks to give your advertisement a bit of flair.
There a number of ways of finding calendars of interest to you on iCalShare.
The main iCalShare web page lists the most recently added entries to the database and on the right hand side you have the list of categories available.
You can also view the most popularly viewed entries using the Top Calendar option in the navigation bar at the top of each page. There is also a Search option, as well as a Sherlock Channel, to find specific items.
iCalShare is the largest directory of shareable calendars on the web
What iCalShare is not!
The purpose of iCalShare is to promote and share information about calendars on the web. It currently does not offer the facilities to actually host or store a calendar. Nor does it allow you to actually create a Calendar.
To share your calendars, you need a calendar hosting service.
The most well known service for Macintosh users is Apple Computer’s .Mac service, which costs US$99 per year and also provides additional features like Webmail, iDisk storage, Web page hosting and various free and discounted software packages.
The biggest advantage for iCal users using .Mac to host your Calendars is the fact that support is automatic and built-in and apart from configuring your Internet System Preference with your .Mac Member Name and Password, there is virtually nothing else to configure. You just publish your calendar and away you go.
If you don’t want to fork out money to host your calendar, look at one of the various free services available.The most popular one seems to be iCal Exchange (also known as icalx), which currently hosts about 5,500 individual calendars.
The basic iCalX service is free of charge, which allows you publish both public and private calendars. Public calendars work the same way as .Mac’s service and all someone needs to subscribe to a calendar is to know the address of the calendar, where as Private Calendars also require a password to access them.
For a tiny US$1 per month, iCalX also offer an enhanced service that enables you to set multiple user ids and passwords to access private calendars.
Create a Calendar
To create a calendar, you’ll need a calendar creation application like Apple’s free iCal for Mac OS X 10.2.x.
Once you have created your calendar, just publish it to your Calendar Host, then go to iCalShare and add an entry with information about your calendar.
Don’t use iCal?
If you have a Windows or Linux machine, don’t worry, as .ics calendar files, which is what iCal uses to store its data, are cross-platform and all need is a copy of Mozilla 1.2 and the optional Mozilla Calendar module. Once you’ve downloaded and installed these, you should be able to use iCalShare just like Mac users.
If you are a Classic Mac OS user or just want to view calendar without subscribing to it, iCalShare also has an option to Preview a calendar, which displays the calendar in your web browser.
There are a number of view options available, including Daily, Weekly, Monthly and even Annually.
While you can view a calendar in your web browser using the preview option on iCalShare, it is far more useful to subscribe to the calendar so you can view it with all your other appointments and events.
To do this, simply click on the subscribe link supplied on the iCalShare entry, which will open iCal with a screen similar to that below.
Regardless of the type of calendar you subscribe to, you should enable the Refresh option to at least once a week, as most calendars will be updated with changes and corrections and this way you’ll have current versions.
Personally, I disable the option to Remove Alarms as most calendars don’t have alarms enabled and the few that do, it is usually a useful reminder. At present, To Do lists are something I don’t use (but perhaps need to 🙂 and so I do Remove To Do Items.
If the calendar you are subscribing to is hosted on a service like iCal Exchange that enables you to protect a calendar with a user name and password, then clicking on the triangle next to Advanced Options will revel fields to enter this information.
It doesn’t matter where your interest lies, there is bound to be at least one calendar listed on iCalShare that will interest you. Here is a selection of some of the diverse range available;
- Space Shuttle Launch Schedule
Animal Crossing Events
Farscape 2003 Episode Guide
Pearl Jam 2003 Tour
DC Comic’s Batgirl Series
There are a large number of Australian focused calendars lists on iCalShare, here are some highlights;
- AUSOM Meetings
Australian School Holidays
Australian DVD Release Dates
Australian Movie Release Dates
All AFL Fixtures
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