Salsa Calendar

en in dance • 2 min read

I created salsa-calendar.com. A website that shows all salsa events around you or location you are interested in. With a clean design, simple, mobile-friendly, all perfect.

The most crucial part was automation. People are not good at filling forms, and almost everyone is using Facebook for promoting events. So, the first feature was to use the Facebook API to get data about public events.

It was working well until Cambridge Analytica happened. It was very soon after I got the first version working. After that, Facebook took down the API to the public data. It’s locked down, and I cannot use that feature anymore.

Now, the calendar has no data, and I don’t think people would be willing to create an event on Facebook and bother to do that in another place as well.

We can look at MapDance.com. It’s similar, but from my point of view, complicated. Even when I reported how hard it’s to use it (from both sides, user and organizer), nothing happened. Anyway, there were (not all, but) many salsa events in Prague before Cambridge Analytica, now there is almost nothing.

I had even more ideas about how to make the calendar very useful for salsa travelers. But without data, it’s useless… So I was thinking what to do so salsa calendar can be full again. (Check for example Prague in the first quarter of 2018.)

Maybe to find some moderators for every location, and they would do that? I’m not sure it would work. What would people convince to maintain data? Would you be willing to manage your events or all events in your location?

What do you think?






4 responses

That would have been awesome having access to that data. I travel a lot and it seems each metro city has that one website that is kind of overall the go to to find salsa/bachata events. Many times the events are outdated yet many other good events get missed. Maybe finding a way to get the venues calendars and compile them. I was dealing with the very same problem -- facebook not allowing to get public events info anymore. I ended up writing my own parser of https://m.facebook.com/<fb_page>/events (just the public website, no logging in whatsoever). It works well enough, no changes to the code since the first version :-) (But obviously, if you crawl a lot of pages, you will get a captcha challenge..) Otherwise, you could probably use a service like this one: https://blog.apify.com/web-scraping-in-2018-forget-html-use-xhrs-metadata-or-javascript-variables-8167f252439c @Andre I checked if there is some (easy) way as is described in apify blog, but not really. I’m scared that it would break few times per year and it wouldn’t work until I fix it again. Can you share with me what you did to collect events from FB page and which challenges you noticed? My e-mail is horejsekmichal@gmail.com. Thanks! Sure, I'll get in touch in with you.




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