Community Megaphone and UGSS

Community Megaphone and UGSS

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Photo Credit: pinkpucca. Used under CC By Attribution.Two great apps that work great together:

“Hey, you got your event in my UGSS!”

“No, you got your event in my Community Megaphone!”

If you’re a developer looking for events, or a community leader looking to get your events promoted, one challenge you face is figuring out where it makes sense for you to find and/or promote events.

Today, I’m pleased to announce that Community Megaphone, the event promotion/discovery site/engine I wrote, and User Group Support Services (UGSS – aka, the site formerly known as Codezone) have taken steps to reduce this challenge by integrating our event listings.

WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH THESE SITES?

Community Megaphone was designed as a simple, low-friction engine for event discovery and promotion. Simple to add events, and lots of ways (site, RSS, iCalendar, gadget, etc.) to promote them. No registration is required to find or add sites via the web site.

UGSS is a support site for user groups, providing event management, speaker registry, presentation content, SWAG kits, and more. Registration is required, but more is offered in exchange.

SO WHAT’S THE NEWS?

As of yesterday, any event* added to Community Megaphone will be automatically synced with the UGSS Event Calendar. And any US-based event added to the UGSS calendar will be automatically synced with Community Megaphone.

This allows attendees to find more events, and organizers to reach more attendees, regardless of which system you wish to use.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!!!

As an added bonus, I’m planning to make the Web Service API used for the UGSS sync available to event organizers so they can add their events to Community Megaphone programmatically. If you’re interested in being an early adopter, please let me know, and I’ll get you set up. I’ll be posting instructions and tools for signing up for the API soon at Community Megaphone.

* UGSS only currently supports developer and IT Pro events…events marked only for a Public Sector audience will not be synced with UGSS.

  • UGSS and the Community Megaphone are definitely two excellent tools for promoting events.

    what surprises me a little bit is that Community Megaphone only offers events up from US-based organisers..

    basically this means that the whole API you're building would only be suitable for those in the US...

    Considering how border-expansive the communities has become, with virtual groups popping up more and more frequently, i'm surprised that such a limitation has even been considered, much less implemented.

    The API would have been excellent, wasn't it for the limitations of Community Megaphone...

  • Brian,

      You raise a valid point. What I hope you can hear is that Community Megaphone started out as a local event promotion site for the Mid-Atlantic, and has since grown, first to cover most of the east coast, and now all of the US.

      And it's not done growing, but making some programmatic access available was a necessary step to continue growing. Growing to support events outside the US is definitely on my radar, but it's a big step that will require a lot more effort, particularly to do it right.

      I'd rather start small, and get things as right as I can, than bite off too much and make a hash of it.

      BTW - we do support online events, including the upcoming Virtual TechDays, which will run 24 hours and include sessions in many languages and from around the globe.

      Thanks for the feedback.

  • Hey,

    I certainly can hear that it's growing (eg. UGSS implementation) and it's good to see.

    Of course, i could be speaking out of pure ignorance, but a location is a location is a location is a location..what would make a location, say in Germany or Hong Kong, so unique that it wouldn't be using the same parameters that one in Washington or New York would?

    exact location of the event is based on longitude and lattitude afaics - only difference would be the source of the country/state/region/town/city.

    I do apologise however, for the misnomer when i said that it didnt' support virtual groups.

    Anyways, happy to see that it's on the radar - can't wait as i'm involved with two user groups where one is virtual and international (with roughly 17,500 members so far) so something like CM would come in handy in getting the word out on our monthly events.

  • Brian,

      Locations based on lat/long are pretty universal. But address representations do vary. Because CM started out as local, then all of US, the basis for how addresses are represented is based on US addresses. Not something that's impossible to remedy, but something I want to make sure I do right, when the time comes.

      Additionally, since I rely heavily on geolocation for mapping and other functionality, I would need to make sure that the geocoding source I use covers any/all countries for which I want to add support.

      Things would be much simpler if I could simply ask folks for the lat/long of a given event. But that's not really how people deal with locations.

      More importantly, to properly support events globally, I would also need to provide support for non-English speakers as well. Again, not impossible, but non-trivial.

    Thanks!

  • Hey,

    Excellent - i honestly can't wait for CM to extend itself to support the rest of the world.

    Will definitely look out for any announcements you make to that effect.

    Keep up the good work!

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