How to enter events, locations and contacts and how to cancel calendar events.
- Before entering an event, look to see if it has already been entered by another group, or even by another member of your own calendar group. Making this a habit will help us avoid duplicate entries. It is possible that an event may be created under a different title than you'd expect. Because you can only edit events added by your group, if you'd like to change an existing event created by a different group, you'll need to contact the original poster (use the contact information attached to the event).
- Note that both the event's start and end times are in 24-hour/military format, so, for example, make sure that an event that starts at 2:00 in the afternoon gets entered as 14 00, and not as 02 00.
- Keep in mind that the event's description field is limited to only 500 characters (including spaces), so you'll have to keep your description to a minimum. (And remember, you won't have to re-enter date, time, or location information in the description field, as there are other fields for providing this information.) You can always enter a URL in the "Event URL" field to point users back to your website, or some other location where they can find more complete information about the event.
- Since all items that are entered on the campus events calendar get pulled from there into a queue of potential articles for MorningMail, it's generally helpful to make your event titles fairly descriptive. For example, rather than use a title of "Lecture" (which won't mean much to a user when looking at the month grid), use "Music Lecture Series: 'Uses of the Neapolitan Chord'". Similarly, "UPAC Cinema" would also be too vague a title, while "UPAC Cinema: 'The Last Samurai'" would be better.
Bear in mind that your event will "share the stage" with other events in the calendar, so try to be as clear as possible when thinking of titles, and express not only what the event is, but what it's about. The MorningMail curators can always tweak the titles as necessary before the notices go out.
- Keep in mind that just because your event might show up immediately on the campus events calendar, that doesn't mean that it will also show up just as quickly in the MorningMail queue. It can sometimes take MorningMail several hours to go around and sniff out the most recent news items from all of its designated sources, so if you want an announcement to go out at least a few days in advance of your upcoming event, the sooner you can post an event to the calendar, the better.
On a related note, please note that just because an item gets pulled into the MorningMail queue, that doesn't mean that it will automatically show up in the next edition of MorningMail, either. All MorningMail release dates are manually entered by the MorningMail curators.
- The calendar uses a 21-day "rolling window" to automatically pull events from the calendar and into the queue of potential MorningMail articles, but once something has been pulled into MorningMail, the curators unfortunately have no way of knowing of any changes that may have been made to a calendar event. Therefore, if you ever find that you have to change or outright cancel a calendar entry up to 21 days prior to the actual event, please be sure to Submit an online request to Morning Mail/Events Calendar so the curators can make the appropriate changes in the MorningMail entry. (Of course, there's also the chance that the announcement may have already gone out, in which case the MorningMail curators would have to go in and manually change the MorningMail item to reflect the new information, and then re-post it.)
However, just as an example, let's say you also make another calendar entry for sometime several months in the future, and then discover next week that you need to make some sort of change. In that case, you could simply go ahead and make the necessary changes to the calendar entry. Because the event is taking place more than 21 days in the future, it won't be picked up by the calendar's rolling window, and the curators in turn won't see it come through the potential MorningMail line-up.
- Please remember that each calendar entry should reflect ONLY the actual date(s) of the event itself, and NOT the date that you post an event to the calendar, or want it to "start appearing;" the event should appear on the calendar almost immediately, as soon as you click on the "Add Event" button. Here's a good way to think of it: Let's say you learn at the end of November that a show you really want to see is going to be happening February 18 of the following year, and you want to make a note of it on your calendar. You wouldn't put the event in your calendar the day you learned about it and then repeat the same entry in your calendar every day between now and then; you'd just make one single entry in your calendar on February 18....the actual date of the show. Hope that makes sense.
- When posting your events, DO NOT use the "Academic Calendar" tag, as doing this will cause your events to erroneously appear on the actual academic calendar for the campus (see https://info.rpi.edu/registrar/academic-calendar/ ).
Also, please limit the use of your tags to only reflect the subject matter, type, source/department, and/or theme of the event itself, and NOT the audience you're trying to reach or who you think might be interested. Those same tags can be used for searching purposes within the calendar, so if you apply too many different tags to an event and someone then searches for a specific subject, it's possible their search results would include your event as a sort of false positive, even though it has nothing at all to do with the subject of their initial search.
Tag any ongoing events, such registration or any other events that last longer than a week, with the "Ongoing" topical area.
- When adding a new event, it's probably a good idea that you make sure to populate all of the various calendar fields before you click on the "Add Event" button, and then to go back to the main calendar at http://events.rpi.edu to make sure your event is appearing there correctly. If it isn't there, you know you will need to go back in and try posting your event again. (Remember, if an event doesn't show up on the calendar, it isn't going to show up in the MorningMail queue, either.)
On a related note, when you look at your newly-posted calendar entry, check carefully for any odd "\n" line break characters which may appear in the description field, as these may have been brought over as the result of copy-and-pasting your content into the event's description field. If you see these characters in the calendar entry, please go back in and edit the event as needed to remove these characters, as they would ultimately get pulled into the MorningMail entry as well.
- If for some reason you find that you do ever need to cancel an event, please DO NOT delete the entry from the calendar altogether, but simply go back into the interface and change the event's status from "confirmed" to "canceled." Completely deleting an event from the calendar will likely break any existing links between a MorningMail entry and the original calendar posting.
- In general, make your titles descriptive: rather than "Lecture" (which won't mean much to a user when looking at the month grid) use "Music Lecture Series: 'Uses of the Neapolitan Chord'". "UPAC Cinema" would also be too vague, while "UPAC Cinema: 'The Last Samurai'" is better. Bear in mind that your event will "share the stage" with other events in the calendar - try to be as clear as possible when thinking of titles. Express not only what the event is, but (briefly) what it's about. Elaborate on the event in the description field, but try not to repeat the same information.
Following are two examples of posts, one good and one better. Note that more information is provided in the better post, including a URL and contact information. Although the location is repeated in the description field, it spells out the name of the DCC in full rather than repeating the information verbatim. To make this post even better, an end time could be included (if it is known). Try to think like a user when creating a post: use language that will explain your event to someone who knows absolutely nothing about it.
[example of an event with a small paragraph as a description]
[example of an event with a more detailed description]
If you have any questions about publishing events to the calendar, Submit an online request to Morning Mail/Events Calendar; we'll be happy to help.
Cancelling an Event
- If an event needs to be cancelled, simply set the event status to "cancelled". The event will appear in gray in the web client.
- If an event should simply be removed, you may delete any event posted by your group. PLEASE NOTE: we do not encourage the deletion of old events. Only delete events that are truly erroneous.
- Be careful to avoid duplicating locations - check first to see if the location you need is already there.
- Use standard Rensselaer room codes where possible (e.g. DCC 308) in the address field.
- Place the street address in the subaddress field; be as specific as possible. You do not need to include a street address for locations on Rensselaer's Troy campus.
- Be careful to avoid duplicating contacts - check first to see if the contact you need is already there.
- When adding contacts, add groups such as "Athletics" or "DotCIO" rather than individuals such as "John Doe". If you need to direct users to a particular individual for a specific event, use the "description" field to elaborate on that. You may wish, though, to include the name of the individual whose phone number is listed. Do this by adding the name to the " Additional Phone Info" field.
- Use only one organization or person when creating a contact; do not combine departments. If several units are sponsoring an event, make a note of it in the event's description, but select only one unit as the contact.
- In general, do not preface contacts with "Department of" or "Rensselaer." (The Rensselaer Union is an example of a rare departure from this convention.)
- To help deter spammers, email addresses will not appear in the public calendar interface.