It seems like there is a WordCamp or two happening every weekend. With so many, it’s tough to keep track unless you routinely browse the schedule on WordCamp Central. However, I’ve discovered a few other ways to monitor upcoming WordCamps.
In late 2013, WordCamp central added RSS feeds that notify subscribers when an event is added to the schedule. To subscribe via RSS, copy and paste this URL into your favorite feedreader. You can also subscribe to the feed via email by using Blogtrottr. If you’d rather see a calendar view of the next 50 events scheduled, you can use the WordCamp Central ICS file. ICS is a file extension used to display calendar data and is supported by iCalendar and Google Calendar.
Unfortunately, we discovered a bug with Google Calendar that doesn’t allow importing from a URL or from the actual ICS file. If an event is declared with only a date and not the full time stamp, Google Calendar ignores it. To work around this bug, the calendar file has been recreated to use the full time stamp. Importing the ICS file into iCalendar presented no issues.
Paving The Way To Integrate Data Into Mobile Apps
There is work underway to make the scheduling data more accessible. One idea is to move the ICS file into a plugin and then place the data into a JSON endpoint. However, the JSON API has yet to be added to core. I asked Ian Dunn, one of many volunteers working on improving the WordCamp central website, what opportunities become available by using JSON. He said, “By using the JSON API, we’ll be able to integrate the data into mobile apps.” With the possibility of an official WordCamp mobile app being developed, having access to a schedule of upcoming WordCamps seems like a natural fit.