The development of an Online Shared Diary of local events.

The idea for this came out of Idea#06 ('We could facilitate the development of some kind of a Golden Valley Venues Network or Forum.'). We had heard from several of those who arrange social & community events in the area about the difficulties they faced in choosing dates that would not clash with events held by others nearby. The problem was simply that there was no single Central Diary which people could look at and they found that a combination of using the online diaries that are available plus simple asking around was not working. It seems clear that many events were sparsely attended because not enough people knew they were on. The other side to this is that most Members of the Public find it difficult to find out what events are going on around them. They may have access to some parish or similar magazines that report some things but they miss out on a lot.

We saw value in the idea of developing an Online Share Diary ourselves. We launched this as an Event on 28th April 2018. That was perhaps premature but we have not reversed the Event because, although we suspended work on it on 17th May 2018 (for the reasons mentioned below), we have not yet been convinced that the alternatives will be as good as is required. We will keep this under review.



In May 2018 we held a useful meeting with representatives of Herefordshire Council. They introduced us to the Events Search Facilty being developed by W.I.S.H.. We were impressed by its potential and decided that, in accordance with our wish to avoid reinventing wheels, we would support that facility instead of trying to develop our own. That decision was influenced by the recognition that developing anything better than what they are doing would be difficult, time-comsuming, and costly. However, our views on this are not the most important views. We need to talk more on this matter with others and so have not yet made any final decision on it. If we find that there is a consensus that a new Online Shared Diary should be prepared then we will see what we can do to help with that.


What is needed - The Ideal
It has to be simple to develop, operate, maintain & sustain. It has to be easy for The Public to access & use. It has to be simple for approved venues to upload & amend data. It has to have the ability to absorb & display a lot of data from many different venues. To keep data displays to something that is easy-to-understand, it has to offer analytical/listing options as to dates, location (specific & regional), and type of event. It should be possible to link entries to pages within the venues' own web sites.


What is available at the moment
There are some useful web sites and Facebook pages around. Some of them are recorded in the Group Marketing section of the Directory. [If you know of others that are worthy of inclusion, please let us know.] However, we have not yet found one that provides a Diary (or similar) that covers our area and is accessible to the General Public with some form of an analytical facility and enables third parties to upload data directly into it (for we do not want something that has to be updated centrally as that is unlikely to be sustainable) and is being kept up-to-date (which would give comfort that it is sustainable in practice). We would like to make it possible for someone to list what events there are of a certain nature in a particular location in a particular time frame. If there is an existing site doing all this then please do let us know. We believe that the W.I.S.H. facility comes close as does the 'What's On' facility at VisitHerefordshire. However, neither provide much in the way of analytical options. We watch with interest how the new diary at WhatsOnGoldenValley develops.