Kink in exile

Notes from a kinky nomad

Single point of failure is a failure

Lets say you have a diverse community with a vibrant grassroots organizational style where anyone can show up and start something cool.  Say this community has been organized through loose ties and network affiliations for two decades with various groups using various methods to get the word out about their events.

Imagine, after two decades or more of this loosy goosy organizational system, a new system was available that let all the grassroots organizations funnel all their events through one central place.  Sounds well organized and easier, right?  But what if that central place was privately owned and operated and the groups, in switching over to this new system abandoned their own websites, mailing lists and calendars?

What if this central system had a financial crisis?

What if this central system no longer supported the events you cared about?

What if it simply wasn’t very good?

That’s the problem with Fetlife, not as an option, but as a monoculture.

The problem isn’t that Fetlife exists, it’s that BDSM organizations no longer support their own calendars, websites, mailing lists and so on – they are completely dependant on Fetlife to maintain their group and publicize their events.  Fetlife is owned by one dude, what if that dude gets bored and moves on to other projects?  Single point of failure.

And the problem is that Fetlife really isn’t very good.  You can search for events in the city associated with your account, but not in the city you’re visiting next weekend.  You can search comfortably on your computer, but in 2013 mobile devices will pass PCs to be most common Web access tools and Fetlife mobile sucks.  No really, pull out your phone and try to find a cool event on Fetlife.  It sucks.

And then there are certain things I expect out of event listings cause that’s how the world rolls in 2013 – I want to import it into my calendar, click on the address, and have my phone provide directions seamlessly.  I want to do this without having to manually enter a bunch of events into my calendar line by line.

Sounds nice, right?

Here you go. 🙂

Staring blankly at a list of calendars wondering now what?

If you use iCal simply click on the webcal link, you’ll be prompted to open this with iCal so go ahead and do that, the calendar URL will pre-populate as you can see below so hit subscribe.

Make any stylistic changes you need and *this is important* set that auto-refresh option to something other than “no” if you want to know about cool new things as they’re added.  Some other things you might do include renaming the calendar “night life” in case other people might be glancing at your calendar list and you don’t want to have your mom asking “what’s Fetlife,” or change the color so as to not clash with your work calendar.

And then sit back and watch your calendar populate…

Using Google Calendar instead?

Pretty much the same deal…
Open your google calendar or create one, in the “other calendars” area select the “Add by URL” option, paste your calendar subscription URL in the box (in my case it was http://fetlife.maybemaimed.com/icalendar/San_Francisco.ics but you can find yours by right clicking on your city of choice and selecting “copy link address”) and accept.

If you want to be a nice person, and help other kinky people in your area find cool munches and stuff to go to you can also click the “make the calendar publicly accessible” box. Once again, sit back and watch life be convenient.

Just make sure you import this into a new calendar either in gcal or ical so that you can toggle it on and off.  Unless of course you like having your phone, computer, and roomba all beep in unison ten minutes before the start of every munch.

Oh, and no set of instructions for something this useful would be complete without the magical step 5: send Maymay a thank you for giving up his weekend to make this.  You can buy him a cup of coffee here to help fuel the midnight coding 🙂

Interested in the technical side of things?  Didn’t find your city on the list and want to add it?  You’ll find what you’re looking for here.

Written by kinkinexile

February 27, 2013 at 8:51 am

Posted in advice, community, the web

3 Responses

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  1. […] it just in case something goes wrong with Fetlife, because they’ve built a monopoly are a single point of failure for almost the entirety of the BDSM […]

  2. Reblogged this on xtremelust.

    xtremelust

    May 9, 2013 at 3:00 pm

  3. […] would not show those events.) It’s really impressive, and I highly recommend you check it out. Instructions and more info here. Subscribe here. What if your city not listed? You don’t have to rely on maymay’s […]


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