Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center

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New Event Calendar

February 08, 2014 by Yugen

Jim Lakey Rev. Jim Yugen Lakey
Yokoji Zen Mountain Center

We had an email this week from someone who wondered if we were aware of a "spectacular offer to become the director of a hotel if we contribute towards $11million" that had appeared on our events calendar. Safe to say, we were not aware. However, this was not the first time we'd run into this problem.

Our first events calendar consisted of us putting events on our website, and then again manually on a Google calendar which we then embedded on our site. This proved to be ineffective as although we'd update events on the site, we'd usually forget to update the Google calendar. So then, we hooked up the Google calendar to a feed of events from our website using a bit of web magic, so the process was automated. This worked pretty well, but resulted in occasional double, and sometimes triple postings. With this system, we rarely looked at the calendar and therefore didn't notice the strange event postings that would sometimes appear.

It turns out that there is a gaping hole, of such size that you'd imagine Google would jump right on it, that allows anyone to post anything on a Google calendar that has been made public, and therefore embeddable on a web site. This issue has been around for years, but Google seem to be quite happy with it and have no plans to deal with it. You can stop yourself seeing these spam posts in your own calendar, but you can't stop the posts appearing in the embedded view.

So at this point, Google is out, and our shiny new system is in—which is the best of both worlds. Our events calendar and rental calendar have been remade with more of that web magic stuff so that we publish once and the events appear on the listings page and the calendar. What's more, you can now easily subscribe to our events calendar, using the iCalendar format which works with Google Calendar, Apple's calendar's on the Mac and iPhone, and pretty much every other modern calendar app. There are instructions on the site as how you can do this. If you don't use a calendar app, this website works well on smaller devices, too, so you can always be old skool and fire it up in a web browser.

So now you have no excuse to not keep up to date with events at Yokoji! We've published the rest of the event calendar for the year, so put them in your diary (or join the 21st century and subscribe to our calendar on your smart phone), and we hope to see you soon!


  • A. Jesse Jiryu Davis:

    01 Mar 2014 08:20:25

    The new calendar looks great. What software do you use? At Village Zendo we’re using a clunky WordPress plugin for our calendar, but yours looks nicer.

  • Yugen:

    01 Mar 2014 08:36:03

    We use Perch, a light-weight PHP CMS, and it does have an event add-on, but it doesn’t handle multi-day events. Perch has custom fields types out of the box, so I use these instead to build the data for the events, and then have a few different templates to output it: one which is the events page, and the other main one is a JSON feed of the events, which I then pass to CLNDR, an open-source jQuery plugin that uses underscore.js to process the feed and template it out. So it’s not exactly plug and play but this way I have full control over the markup and the data. Glad you like it!

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