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Help Topic: Swingout.net: Calendar Administration

Any registered member has the following privileges:

  1. You can add public events to the calendar.
  2. You can edit your own events (but nobody else's)
  3. You can delete your own events (but please, do not do this unless the event never took place. It's nice to keep events around for historical purposes)

If you add a new event to the calendar, nobody will see it until an Administrator or Moderator makes your event visible. Again: nobody will see your event until it's made public. You may need to contact someone to publicize new events.

Users in the Moderator and Administrator groups can fix any mistakes you make.

Which events are appropriate?

  • Dances
  • House parties that you don't mind everyone coming to
  • Special workshops
  • Important stuff (e.g. Portland Lindy Exchange meetings, benefits)
  • Live music

What's inappropriate in my post?
Do not spam. If you do add additional info to the template, keep it specific to this dance. In other words, don't post other upcoming dances, workshops, your studio, your pets, your favorite books, or anything except this exact dance. A tasteful tagline or graphic for your studio is not out of the question.

Which events are not appropriate?

  • Non vintage jazz/blues dances - if it ain't got that swing... it probably belongs in the Other Dances forum.
  • Classes - we have something like twenty instructors in town. If they all added their regular weekly classes, the calendar would be a mess. Use the Instruction forum instead.
  • Dances more than a 30 minute drive from Portland unless it's a big name band (e.g. Lavay Smith) or event (Swingout Northwest, Exchanges)

Creating events

Just go to the http://swingout.net/calendar and click one of the links in the Add New Event box. It's located in the bottom right.

Once there, fill out all of the fields except the If this is not an all-day event, do you wish to specify a 'start' time?. If you turn that option on, your event will break. Again, do NOT use this field. Your event may move to a different day for other users. This is due to the way timezone and event times work.

To be safest, leave your event as an "all-day" event by not checking that checkbox.

Next, cut and paste the following template into the large text entry window, and follow the directions below.

The template

Please use the following template when creating events. If you stick by this template, we can do cool automated things. If you don't stick by the template, you will be chastised for being a pain in the ass.

Delete any records that you don't need, like the Description: line. That one's frequently obvious. Change the underlined sections to fit.

--cut from here--

Event name, band name, and/or location
Description: one line blurb
Venue: Venue name e.g. Joe's Ballroom
Address: Address with URL to maps.google.com e.g. 123 South St., Portland, OR
Dance floor: description
Booze: full bar, beer only, no booze
Ages: all, 21+
Website: to ballroom, to band, wherever

$amount lesson: ?:00 - ?:00
Free lesson: ?:00 - ?:00
Dance: ?:00 - ?:00

Cover: $?, FREE

comments, schedules if it's a workshop or there are contests, anything else interesting

date: DJ: ?; Lesson: ?

--cut to here--

Template change log

1.2 Mentioned problems with using the time fields
1.1 Added Description line; Venue and Address lines need to start with "Venue: " and "Address: "
1.0 initial revision


If the event is further than a 30 minute drive from downtown Portland, put a ... around the address to let people know that they're in for a trip. You might also consider adding the town to the title. (e.g. "Lavay Smith in Salem")

Naming events

The event name should be short and simple. Too many events on the same day make the calendar cluttered and difficult to read. Please do not turn this into a marketing pitch.

Defining terms:

  • Workshop: classes for a half-day, full-day, weekend or longer
  • Class: the normal hour long classes that are an instructor's bread-and-butter.

Good event names:

  • If it's a DJ'd dance, please use the venue name, e.g. "Joe's Pub"
  • If it's live music, use that, e.g. "Count Basie"
  • If it's a workshop, mention the topic, e.g. "Balboa workshop".
  • If it's a workshop with famous instructors, name them, e.g. "Steven and Virginie workshop"
  • If the dance isn't lindy hop, that's important too. e.g. "Charleston bomb"

Bad event names:

  • John and Tony's Supercalifragilistic-expialidiciously framdastic collegiate shag lesson and dance. There will be pie!

Potential Pitfalls

  • A calendar moderator can only edit and delete their own events.

    Let's say that your name is Boris and you own The Boris Bar. You're having a swing dance. Natalia adds the event to the calendar... right before leaving to take over the world.

    You look at the event and realize that she put it on Saturday. Oh no, the dance is on Friday! You need to fix it, and quick!

    Guess what? You can't. You can only fix your own events. Even though you both work at the same place, the calendar doesn't know this.

    You will need to contact an Administrator or Moderator to fix your event.

    Moral of the story: you should probably get one person at your venue to keep the calendar up-to-date.

  • Who can fix my problems? e.g. what if an event gets cancelled or !!!

    The Adminstrators and Moderators can fix any problems in the calendar.

To do

  • Write about cancelled repeating events (e.g. Larry's third Friday off)
  • Write about live bands on repeating events (e.g. all the live bands at the Paradise in Apr and May)
  • Think about template format for non-dance events (e.g. meetings)