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On-line Community Event Calendar policy FAQ:Please note this applies only to the on-line Community Events Calendar. The print newspaper version Newswest/Kitchissippi Times Community Calendar Column criteria are decided separately by their editors.
How does this calendar compare to the print version ?
The on-line calendar is not a replacement for the in print calendar but acts an add-on to it. The on-line calendar is intended as a quick look-up for events by day, week or month. It can present events sooner, quicker and provide updates but not all notices or details can be supported. On the other hand, not all events presented here will appear in print for reasons including our publishing deadlines and dates, or space limitations.
Why do you limit the length ?
We limit the length on-line for both appearance and function. A description of more than 175 characters (four+ lines) makes some of the output screens bigger than what we feel is good. 130 characters (Three-four lines) is, in our opinion, an optimal length for the event’s description. Functionally the on-line calendar’s mission is to be a simple and short gateway to finding more information, and not a verbose read.
How can I write such a short description ?
Why can we not include emails in the on-line description ?There are a few reasons why.
My announcement is not appearing on-line. why ?In order for the announcement to appear on-line it must meet selection guidelines.
* Serious real events:a) The first thing we try to determine is; Is there any collaborating information on line?
This is to avoid publishing hoaxes and pranks. We search for your organization’s website and domain. We consider; if the announcement has appeared in the past, is this your first announcement, and where is it to be held. In the end it is a judgement call, but if no collaborating information is found, and you are not known to us then the announcement may be delayed (until it can be confirmed or deemed reasonable). This is very rarely the case so more likely the failure to appear is because ;
* In our immediate area:b) We limit on-line announcements by geography.
Our readers are in an area bounded by the Ottawa river to Carling avenue between Woodroffe and the O-Train. Events in that area are likely to be fully covered. Additionally an arbitrary band of partial coverage around that area is included since some readers live close to our borders. Beyond that other events are looked at both in terms of distance and local interest. These areas beyond are discretionary and we don't guarantee they will appear. It would be too time consuming and be contrary to our aim of a simple short clean experience for our reader-visitors for this website to include all regions of Ottawa-Gatineau. Likewise we do exclude on-line any out-of-city organized trips, even though those may appear in print.
* That are Open Discrete Event types in terms of time and place:c) We also currently exclude on-line announcements for things like multi-day courses, regular monthly meetings, calls for volunteers/members/donations.
The functionality of our calendar is not made for recurring events, and we prefer to draw attention to unique activities for our reader to participate in. So if your regular monthly meeting has a special guest speaker or activity then it may be included just as we include annual general meetings. Other announcements that are not tied to a single specific date and time are not included currently on-line except for special cases such as making a correction to the print version, or for some long term announcements from inside the distribution area. As many as half of the print Community Calendar Column announcements are general or recurring date types which we invite our readers to read in the print edition. Including those announcements on-line in the calendar tables is not part of our current plans for our online calendar page. If you feel it should be you can join our board meetings and ask that it be discussed.
Our ideal is to present a wide range of discrete events that are open-to-all, free or paid admission perhaps with pre-sale or pre-registration close to the event date. These events should have very few to no prerequisites of previous training so that a wide audience may be interested. The event should start at a specific date, time and place and run one to two days preferably (and not more than a week.). Prior day attendance requirements should be none or optional. The event should be at a single location or a contiguous walkable area. And it should be of important interest or fun for our community and readers to attend.
My announcement is not appearing in your event calendar feeds or tweets. why ?
Not all events in the full Calendar page will appear in our rss feeds and @OttawaWCalendar twitter account. A rare few events may be marked for exclusion if subject matter is considered sensitive, or not suitable for twittering. Other events that are outside of our normal fare may also be excluded to save space in our feeds or tweets. Event information received with less than the desired advance notice may miss the feed deadline to get in the Monday update of “A Week of Community Events” but could still appear in the full Calendar. If your event gets into the rss feed and “A Week of Community Events” page but does not appear in the tweets then the number of events that week exceeded the 8 tweet maximum that the FeedBurner service supports.
Can we include images in the calendar record ?
Not currently, but we do invite our readers and community event organizers to try their hand at creating image files for the top banner on the on-line calendar page. Basically be our reporter/photographer and create a wide aspect-ratio image (720 pixels wide by 148 pixels high or so). Do something that shows the fun that happens or happened at your event. Create a panorama or collage of photos that say Fun!, or speak to the visual interest of the event. No direct advertising text please, just visually report a selection of activities or art about the event. Or ask our volunteers to make one from available digital images. If a banner is selected we will add the name of the event and credits, Then overlay the Newswest Logo. We reserve the editorial rights to crop, saturate, add borders and other effects, and the final image used will be under our copyright. Image banners may also be placed in our newsfeeds and may be seen below your event info in the emails and our 7 day calendar listing. Image banners do not currently appear in our @OttawaWCalendar tweets.
Technical: What are the calendar record fields ?
The on-line calendar uses a client-downloadable date-indexed database of records. Each event record has the following data fields: