December 1, 2007

"What do you want to do tonight?"

I've long wished for a local resource where I could go and find stuff to do in Framingham -- sortable by date, or type (music, photography, outdoors, etc.), or more specific tag (astronomy, book-discussions, whatever). While there are several resources to find listings, none did what I need.

So, I decided to code one myself :-) as part of an exercise to learn the Web development framework Ruby on Rails. is still under development and very much a beta, but it's live!

You can search by date, type, tag, venue, sponsor, and appropriate age (some are tagged specifically for kids, seniors, adults, etc.)

For example

This weekend's events:

Upcoming jazz events:

Holiday events:

You can see lots more ways to find events on the site.

I've entered listings for a couple of weeks already, and more are on the way. I'd be interested to hear your comments.

My original goal had even more features, and I still may add some functionality. But if I wait to add all the possible cool features, it'd be 2010 or so before launch.

For now, even without things like personalization or multi-criteria searching, I think it's a neat local listing site offering searching unavailable elsewhere. Yes, MetroWest Daily News has a nice comprehensive arts listing, but it's flat text -- you can't search or sort it. Steve Orr's community e-mail list has some listings, but it's only what memebers post, and it's not in any format to use to answer questions like "What's going on in town this weekend?" or "What local jazz events are coming up?" has that kind of functionality, but Framingham events are pretty limited. certainly isn't trying to replace long-time entry as a community bulletin board listing site, but since the events portion of that site is only sortable by date, I decided to post an events database with some more functionality and see if there's a demand.

If you do visit, please let me know what you think!

It actually takes quite a lot of time to input all the events, so I'm not sure I'll be keeping it updated for 2008 unless there's a fair amount of demand and others would be interested in entering events.


  1. Great idea Sharon! Thanks for putting all of this effort into it. I'm using it already. One-stop shopping for local event info is wonderful.

    My only suggestion: including the "Where" info on the primary listing so you don't have to click to see where an event is. But that's a minor quibble (and you probably have an equally good reason for doing it that way).



  2. Thanks, Brett.

    The where information isn't there for coding reasons, actually, it's kind of a pain because there are 2 place fields -- one if the place is on the event-submission drop-down list, and another if the place isn't on the list and needs to be entered free-form text. And they have to be treated differently (1 displays with a link and 1 doesn't, 1 has the address in the same field and another doesn't, and so on).

    So, to be honest, I just ran out of patience to deal with it, I decided to launch as is, figuring that for a calendar devoted to one town, people wouldn't be deciding whether or not they wanted to go to something by distance. But it's something I'll consider as I refine the site!

  3. Great idea Sharon! Thanks for putting all of this effort into it. I'm using it already. One-stop shopping for local event info is wonderful.

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