Back on the left coast

Whoa, its been more than two weeks since I posted, which is just a minor indicator that I’ve been both busy and slightly unmotivated to write.  Right now, I’m up in Sonoma, CA for Forum One’s Online Community Summit.  Its been an fun trip, and the conference sessions have brought out some very interesting ideas.

I was near by in Healdsburg, CA two weeks ago for Pete and Melissa’s wedding, which in spite of a lack of cooperation from the weather, turned out to be a great ceremony and a really enjoyable occasion.  I posted some pictures, if you want to see us all decked out for it.

Google Calendar Launches

Google Calendar has launched if you want to check it out. There is also an overview of the features available. Will this be a compelling calendaring solution? After looking it over and checking out the website, I think it might be for me. I’ve setup DAV on apache before so that I can have a portable read/write calendar available online but it hasn’t become critical for me. Of course, I was also the kind of person all through school and college that kept track of due dates pretty much in my head (and that’s why professors also give you a syllabus). This might just stick, at least I’ll try it out and report on if it does in the near future. This summer is full of travel and events so its as good a time as any.

Some observations on the funcitonality

  • Drag in grid to create events (ala outlook)
  • You can subscribe to any public ical/ics file (doesn’t handle stuff behind a password protection)
  • You can invite friends to view your calendar (even if it is not public)
  • You can search through other public calendars
  • You can invite people to events in your calendar, but I don’t see an option for scheduling the time/date conflicts
  • Event reminders via email or sms(to cell phone)
  • Can import a calendar from iCal or csv export from MS Outlook
  • Integrates with gmail
  • You can invite people via email to an event and they can reply if they will attend or not, ala evite but without the spam
  • You can subscribe to your calendar to view it via Mozilla’s Calendar app or Apple’s iCalendar.
  • Event organizers can embed a little button on their own pages to prompt users to add an event to the user’s own google calendar ()

Som things Google did not find essential, for this release and possible any other:

 

  • Scheduling free/busy for an event across all participants
  • Synchronizing calendars with other devices. Of course, if you have iCalendar on apple, iSync should take care of synchronizing with your cell phone or PDA.

 

High Demand for US World Cup Soccer

Via the Sports Economist, found a link to this article in the Wall Street Journal about the high demand for World Cup tickets for the USA [subscribers only].  I can’t read the article, but its safe to assume its a mainstream journalist just catching wind of the difficulties those of us who want to follow our team to Germany encountered, what, 2 months ago?  I’m not sure why he ends his post with a dig at MLS.

Now, if MLS could find a way to bring a credible product to club soccer, we might really have something to cheer about.

What is a “credible product” to club soccer?

In my opinion, MLS has made great strides in the quality of the clubs they have.  The number of owners is going up, it’s been a good proving ground for your talen (Bobby Convey, Demarcus Beasley, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan), and its getting stadiums built for its clubs.

You could argue that single-entity (the format used by practically every new sports league recently), multiple team ownership (AEG is divesting itself of teams), and the lack of a single table (umm, yeah our country spans a whole continent…) as somehow degrading the quality of the clubs but I think these arguments are specious. 

The low salary cap and the small rosters, which limit a teams effectiveness in international competion and ability to deal with injuries, do more to hurt a club. I think MLS realizes this and are eager to fix them while staying viable and aiming for profitability.