@madpilot makes

Managing the menagerie of marvelous, erm events

First of all, let me apologise for the hideous attempt at alliteration. For those of you who have been following this blog, you would have noticed a large number of events that have been hitting the shores of the west coast of Australia. This isn’t the half of it – there are many other similar groups such as SIGGRAPH, Byte Me!, Plug and Play, WAnimate, PIGMI and Perth Massive who put on regular events.

Let me state this now – it is AWESOME. Being the most isolated city in the world we (on many occasions) have missed out on big events/concerts/sporting events and so we are often forced to put on our own events. This does create a slight problem though – quite often there are event clashes as there isn’t really much communication between all the different organisations. For example, on the 15th of August Perth is hosting WebJam, which has meant that the Perth Bloggers meetup is probably going to be rescheduled (because of the audience overlap) whilst still clashing with “Digital Content Industry Audit” that is being put on by ScreenWest and DoIR.

Now I know that things such clashes are inevitable – there are only so many days in the calendar, but I think we as industry groups (I’ve got my AWIA events hat on now) really need to make a concerted effort to let each other know what it going on. A nice flow on effect from this is that more people will hear about these events which spreads the love.

A proposal (and thank you to Kat Black for debating with me already)

This is far from well hashed out, and I would really love to hear your feedback on how we can do this.

In an ideal world there would be one central place where all events in the know Perth universe would be posted. The reason this hasn’t worked in the past is because EVERYONE tries to set these up, each one of the above bodies probably has an event calendar, which doesn’t help our cause. For it to work effectively, the owner needs to be a neutral body, such as DoIR or Central TAFE or similar. It would need to be community driven, perhaps with a trusted representative from each organisation with write access to a calendar or blog allowing them to post events on behalf of said organisation.


  • It is open – anyone can read and consume the information via the web, RSS etc.
  • There is no barrier for the event owner to post an event. If they had to email an already over-worked public servant to post this information this would quickly fall in a heap.
  • It is neutral – there is no ownership issue if it is driven by a neutral party who has a vested interest in ALL the groups involved.
  • Builds up a contact point for all the organisations in Perth. If you want to get in contact with an organisation, their details are right there.


  • There is still some administration from the point of view of the neutral body – they need to ensure the right people have write access and will still need to monitor for in-appropriate posting and such
  • For it to work, there needs to be a long term commitment from the neutral body

So why haven’t I suggested other options such as a event co-ordinator mailing list (my original idea) or a Facebook group or an Upcoming account or similar? As Kat pointed out, we are all constantly inundated with email, so adding more noise might mean the message is lost. A blog or dedicated calendar system can still feed information out via RSS or email alerts – it is simply more flexible. I would also feel more comfortable if the system wasn’t a closed one such as Facebook or Upcoming – by all means we can feed this information into these sites (automatically most of the time) but they shouldn’t be driving it.

I am more than happy to get the ball rolling on this, but I need to know if this will be of use – it will only work if those people who are actively organising stuff are going to get behind it.

Please leave me with your thoughts.


  1. Just a quick amendment - I got my events slightly mixed up - the "Digital Content Industry Reference Group" is on the 15th being run by Central TAFE. The Audit is a research project that is apparently unrelated.

    But you get the idea.
  2. You could try lobbying the State Library's Infolink to do something - http://henrietta.liswa.wa.gov.au:81/search.

    Many community information services in libraries allow the groups in the database to update their own records. Updating your own central calendar doesn't sound like such a big leap.
  3. marvelous milestones?
  4. Right, so I've been waiting a while for this post, ha ha. It's great, good work!

    I've thought about becoming that neutral person before, but two issues:

    1. I really am busy enough!

    2. how to organise it technically (I'm still not happy about how enjoyperth works, with the calendar(crap), me putting events into google cal, then uploading into the (crap) calendar. Which is part of the reason I'm too busy! (ideally for enjoyperth I'd like a system where people add there events and I approve, and add heaps myself too. But I'm not yet willing to pay someone to do that, it's still a hobby!)

    But anyway, great idea! Interested in other comments, I'm not good at gathering my thoughts! Especially at this time of night!



  5. I like the idea. It has to be an independent body, that is handing out logins etc to key people.

    Keeping it simple.

    I know this has been done before by groups elsewhere that have the same pocketing effects that we all tend to have in a digital landscape. Go check http://www.sussexdigital.com/ as an example.

    Been thinking why does all this pocketing or isolation of the communities occur in the digital landscape. Well frankly I think its mainly due to time. We are all extremely busy all the time. Take Kat Black. Been meaning to contact her. But just been way to busy. We can't be out every night of the week attend the various monthly events, reading the mailing lists forums, feeds etc of all our fringe interests. When the information overload of our core interests is overwhelming at best.

    Take the ByteMe Events. Great Ideas, some not in my sphere of interest, some are, some are in the "I wish I could find time to get into that realm" that we all have. Still I have been forced at present to push this to the edge of my "must check out list" mainly due to time constrains.

    So how do we overcome this. You're right simple RSS Event site feeding to the closed walls and into the local community feed aggregators, mailing list etc would be ideal.

    WebJam / Bloggers Meetup sure most of the Bloggers would love to go to the WebJam, as a once off.

    I didn't think the DoIR was supporting any local industry events, do you know something different?
  6. Gary, in regards to DoIR, so my first comment amendment :)
  7. Reading that ramble back, I wasn't actually any help (Al was much more useful!), but I guess I just meant to say, yes, I'm all for this!
  8. I just had a thought that could make this even EASIER for event organisers who already have calendars - if we set it up as a blog, it would be fairly easy to syndicate the RSS feeds from all of those calendars automatically, a sort of inside out approach.

    I'm a big fan of the post once approach :)
  9. And you could encourage the blog peeps to use microformats which would make it even easier.
  10. Rather than have people login and post events to a new website, wouldn't it be easier to get organisations to provide iCal (or tagged RSS feeds) from their websites, and then have an independent website that aggregates them?
  11. Hi Nick,

    Yes that be the best solution and the system would definately be able to syndicate if the feed was available, however for the sake of inclusion, I would still like the ability for users to be able to add events manually as well
  12. A quick suggestion.

    There is already an ICT portal under development. This falls in line with the recommendations of the recent Parliamentary Inquiry into ICT.

    Check out http://www.ictwa.org.au for a look at the portal ... more of relevance is the events component. Maybe a step in the right direction ?
  13. Hi Stuart,

    It looks like it could be a step in the right direction (Besides the fact the calendar doesn't work), however the calendar would need to support a number of open standards for both input and output for it to be successful.
  14. I forgot to mention that this is the temporary/old site.

    The new portal and events page is being developed (due October) and will be a lot easier to use. It will support a lot more integration from other formats etc.

    It is a little clunky in its current format and this is why it is being overhauled!

    Keep an eye on it and any suggestions would be welcomed to exec@icticc.org.au
  15. Hi Stuart,

    Thanks for that - it's exactly what we were wishing for, and also by a neutral body. Happy Dance! As Myles pointed out, would be great if the new version is proper web 2.0 - eg feeding in from our own blogs, events calendars etc.

    Now the thing is to get one person committed within each organisation to be responsible for putting on their events.

    Also, I wish the ICT term would go... a lot of digital content devs don't feel we fit into trad ICT as the ICT Industry been so removed from the content-creatives in the past. Those barriers are all disappearing now, and the importance of content creation and interaction is being more acknowledged... but the scope of what ICT's previously been defined as wouldn't probably include animation, games-dev, bloggers etc.

    Anyways, if you're happy to have our events on your calendar, I'm very keen to post them.

    It's not just a step, it's a LEAP in the right direction. Happy kat! :)
  16. I have a BIG reservation with any Govt agency or portal being the central repository. As over the years I have seem these portals come and go with the flavour of the latest Minister etc. We need something more stable than a Govt Portal that frankly will have funding pulled from it after its put in place.

    I personally believe that if everyone (including Govt) is truely focused on supporting the New Media industry than we need to look at something outside the control and whim of any Minister and Agency CEO. Both of which (and their advisor's) have no idea what is really happening on the ground level.

    The ICT portal is a start, but maybe its focus is the wrong end of town.

    I am with Kate kill the ICT term... we don't fit in ICT anymore.
  17. Pingback: Man with no blog » Community Fragmentation

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