Tag: events

RSS Feed Combined Snippet

Use this snippet to display a feed of news, blog posts, or events on your page. You can combine multiple feeds. This snippet includes a styled heading and the option for buttons or social media links in the heading. This is an advanced function.

rss-news-example

rss-announcements-example

latest-post

events-feed

RSS Feed Combined snippet.

  1. Enter a title in the Heading field. This is the text that appears above the line on the left.
  2. Enter linked text for each button in the View More Links/Social field.
    1. Button text just needs to be separated by a space as each link will become a separate button.
    2. If you want to include social media icons, insert the Social Icons snippet.
  3. The URL for the feed is entered in the RSS Feed Link. Follow these instructions to get a news or announcements feed URL.
    1. For a single feed source use the basic RSS feed URL.
      1. For Michigan Tech News, Unscripted, or Tech Today, this URL can be found using the links under the News Sources on the RSS Feeds Subscribe page.
      2. For a Michigan Tech blog just add /feed to the end of the URL. For example: https://blogs.mtu.edu/webmaster/feed/.
    2. For a specific news category/topic use:
      http://www.mtu.edu/mtu_resources/php/news/rss/?include=CATEGORY&site=NAME
      1. “CATEGORY” is the name of the existing category
      2. “NAME” is news, unscripted, or magazine if pulling from a single source only
      3. “&site=…” can be omitted if you want to pull from all sources
    3. For including announcements from Canvas:
      1. Go to your announcements page in Canvas.
      2. Click the RSS Feed button at the top. rss-button
      3. A new page will open. Use the URL from this page as the Feed Link.
    4. When combining multiple sources separate each feed URL with a comma.
  1. The URL for the feed is entered in the RSS Feed Link. Follow these instructions to get an events feed URL.
    1. To get this URL from the University Events Calendar:
      1. Go to events.mtu.edu and Login.
      2. From the Admin menu, go to Content and select Widget Builder.
      3. Create the widget with the parameters needed, including the UMC CMS RSS template, and choose Preview Widget.
        blogs.mtu.edu/webmaster/event-widget-builder
      4. Be sure your URL starts with https.
  1. The Type field will determine the format of the resulting feed.
    1. “news” will display a news feed with larger images. Only use this option if you are not including a blog feed.
    2. “announcements” will display a news feed with smaller images. Use this option if you are including a blog feed or you want to specify the information displayed (see step 7).
    3. “latest” will display the most recent blog post.
    4. “events” will display the events feed from the University Events Calendar or a Google Calendar.
  2. In the limit Value field, enter the number of stories you want to appear in the feed.
  3. You are able to change what pieces are displayed only for the Announcements or Latest Post version. In the blank space below limit add the word display. In the cell next to that enter which items should display, separated by a comma:
    1. In Announcements you can add title, description, date, author, thumbnail.
    2. In Latest Post you can add date, title, author, and full or trunc. Full would display the entire post text and trunc would display a shortened version of the text with a read more link.

Posting Events to the University Calendar

There are two ways to post events to our Events Calendar:

General Campus Community

Calendar Admins

  1. Login to the calendar using the link in the header.
  2. Once logged in, click the “Calendar Admin” shortcut in the header.
  3. Click the “Add an Event” button in the Events menu.

Please note that calendar admins have access to additional fields that do not exist on the public event submission webpage and skip the approval queue.

If you are a calendar admin, please use the event submission form available through your Admin login, as specified above. If you do not have admin access, but often add events for your department, please request access by sending your name, user ID, and department(s) to webcal@mtu.edu.

Tips for Posting an Event

The following is a step-by-step guide for filling out your event information:

  1. Name (Required): This is the title of your event. It should be descriptive, but not more than 7 words, if possible.
  2. Description: Describe what your event is about. Include information about who the event is for, where your event is located, and who is hosting the event in case someone copies your event information. Calendar Admins posting via their Admin login have access to add links and media sources.
  3. Status: The status should initially be set to “Live” but can later be changed to Canceled, Postponed, or Sold Out, which appends the event name to reflect this new status.
  4. Start Date (Required): On which day does your event start? There are several ways you can enter a date: Oct 3, Otober 3, 10/3, “Next Friday,” “Tomorrow,” 10/4/19, etc. As you type, the date below the field will update accordingly.
  5. Start Time: At what time does your event start? You can type as little as 6p or 10a.
  6. End Time: At what time does your event end? You can type as little as 6p or 10a.
  7. Repeating: Use if your event is recurring (ie: daily for a week, monthly for the semester, etc).
  8. Click the “Add Above to Schedule” button to add the date to the event. You can add multiple dates by repeating from the Start Date.
  9. Experience: Choose either In-Person or Virtual to designate how your event is attended.
    1. In-Person Events
      1. Event Place: Enter the venue where your event will take place. As you type your venue, you’ll see campus location options pre-populate. Select your venue from the list, so that you are linked to it unless the event takes place off campus.
      2. Room: Enter the room number for your event, if applicable.
      3. Address: This field will appear if you do not link to an Event Place. Adding an address will include a link to Google Maps for directions.
    2. Virtual Events
      1. Dial-In Instructions: Provide any information about how to access the virtual event. This text can be formatted.
      2. Stream URL: Paste in the URL for watching or joining the event. This could be a Zoom URL, Google Meet, etc.
      3. Stream Embed Code: If the virtual event platform you are using provides code for embedded the livestream, paste in the code.
  10. Photo: You have the option to upload a photo of your choice. You could also “Choose from Photos” to select a generic campus image. Different image sizes are used in different places on the calendar.
    1. After saving your event, click on the pencil icon next to the image to edit it.
      Screen shot showing the pencil icon circled.
    2. Click the Adjust Cropping link in the upper right corner of the screen.
      Screen shot of the window with the Adjust Cropping link circled.
    3. Use the slider under each photo to change the zoom of the image and move the photo to the desired look.
  11. Photo Caption: Enter text that will be used as the caption for the photo.
  12. Event Type: You can select one or more event types from the dropdown menu. To select multiple types, simply select one, return the the menu and continue selecting others in any order. It is important to select relevant event types to make it easier for users to find your events.
  13.  Target Audience: Select one or more Audiences from the list in any order. Selecting relevant audiences is important to make it easier for users to find your events.
  14. Groups: UMC only. Please leave this blank. Student Organizations must submit their events through Involvement Link and they will be automatically imported to the Events Calendar nightly.
  15. Departments: Selecting a Department will automatically add your event to that Department’s calendar. You can select one or more Departments from the list from those you have access to.
  16. Host: Please indicate who the host of the event is, using free form text. It could be a department, a group, or a person. We recommend the name of the department, when possible.
  17. Contact Name: Include the name of a specific contact person if desired.
  18. Contact Email: Include the email for the contact person if desired.
  19. Contact Phone Number: Include the phone number for the contact person if desired.
  20. Facebook Event URL: If you have created a Facebook Event for this event, paste the Facebook URL.
  21. Keywords: These are hidden from users and can be used for common misspellings or custom widget selections.
  22. Tags: Calendar Admins only. Enter 3-7 keywords related to your event, to make it easier for users to find your event when they search and to group events.
  23. Hashtag: If a hashtag is associated with your event, such as #mtuwc for Winter Carnival, please enter your hashtag without the “#” symbol.
  24. Event Website: If you have a webpage or website that explains more about this specific event, enter the URL here.
  25. Vanity URL: Calendar Admins only. If you would like to advertise your event in print media, you can customize the URL by entering a keyword here.
  26. Allow User Activity: Calendar Admins only. If you would like to allow comments, reviews, and feedback, leave this checked.
  27. Allow User Interest: Calendar Admins only. Unchecking this disables the “I’m Interested” and “Invite Friends” functionalities.
  28. Hide Attendees: Calendar Admins only. Checking this removes the “People Interested” box.
  29. Exclude from Trending: UMC only. Do not check.
  30. Visibility: UMC only. Leave set to “Public”.
  31. Sponsored: UMC only. Do not check.
  32. Featured: UMC only. Do not change this.
  33. Tickets & Registration Tab
    1. Use Localist Register: We have not purchased this module. Leave it unchecked.
    2. Ticket Cost: If your event requires tickets, please enter the cost. It can be a single dollar amount, a range, or a description such as “Youth: $5, Adults: $20”.
    3. Registration URL: If users can order tickets online or need to otherwise register for the event, please enter the URL to your ticketing/registration website here.
  34. Eventbrite ID: If you have created an event in Eventbrite, you can enter the ID here.

Events Calendar Management

Our new Events Calendar has been a huge success so far, with over 43,000 views in the past month, representing an 85% increase in calendar use compared to last year. We have learned a few things along the way and want to explain a few changes that we have made, along with some best practices, and new features.

The Problem

Consider the following scenario:

  • Career Services adds Career Fair to the calendar
  • Many different departments want to put this event on their calendar as it is a very popular event
    • Some departments use the Contact Us form to have the event properly added to their own department’s calendar
    • Some departments duplicate the event onto their calendar
  • We end up with 7 copies of the same event floating around in the system, causing user confusion
  • The original event now appears to involve several departments instead of only the originator (in this case, Career Services)

Sounds like a nightmare, doesn’t it? Luckily, we have made some adjustments and have developed some ‘best practices‘ to alleviate this common issue.

Field Changes

We added one new field, relabeled another, and added some tooltips.

Subscribing Departments

On the live website, we have relabeled the “Departments” field to be “Subscribing Departments” to better reflect what that field actually means. When you’re listed as a “Subscribing Department”, it only means that you’ve added the event to your department’s calendar. It does not mean you’re involved in the event. On the backend, there is no change. This change is to help users of the calendar website.

Host Field

We’ve added a “Host” field to better show who is the true/actual host. This field is freeform text, so you could put “Career Services”, “Kinesiology and Biological Sciences” or even “Dial Help” if the event is hosted by an entity off camps. This will help address interdisciplinary events in that multiple hosts can be listed. “Host” is a new custom field on the backend.

Host and Departments Fields
We’ve have added a “Host” field.
Host and Subscribing Departments
An example of the “Host” and “Subscribing Departments” fields on an event.

View live example

You can also add important details to the event description. For instance, if it is very important that a department is recognized for putting the event together, you are welcome to add this information to the description.

Best Practice: Adding Existing Events to your Calendar

In our example, Career Services would create the “Career Fair” event. It is understandable that many departments would want to add that event to their calendar as well. Rather than duplicating the event, please click on the event that you want added to your calendar, scroll to the bottom, and click the the “Contact Us” link.

Adding an Existing Event
You can ask UMC to add an existing event to your calendar.

The UMC Digital Services team will make sure that you are added as a Subscribing Department and we can avoid event duplication and the confusing user experience that it can cause.

Not sure if someone has already created an event? Do a quick search using the search box in the header. If an event exists, click on it, use the “Contact Us” link and ask UMC to add it to your calendar. If no event exists, you are free to make your own.

I understand that we will need to make more adjustments along the way, so if there are any questions, concerns or new ideas, you can contact Joel Vertin, Digital Services Manager, at jcvertin@mtu.edu.

Thanks for helping us make this a great services for all of campus and the community!