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June 6, 2007

Google's Gallery of Public Calendars

Google Calendar added a directory of public calendars, structured in 8 categories: popular, TV shows, sports, events, entertainment, miscellaneous, holidays, and Google-related. The directory contains calendars from the web indexed by Google and public calendars created with Google Calendar.

Before subscribing to a calendar you can preview its events in a big overlayed box that can't be closed unless you have a big monitor (tip: if you can't see the OK button at the bottom of the box, press Enter).

In a surprising move, Google made searching the public calendars the default option, so if you want to restrict your search to the events from your calendars, you have to click on "Search my calendars". The option to search for public events is now available as a barely-visible link in the new gallery. Instead of complicating the interface, Google Calendar should have a single search results page that shows the events from your calendars, then other related events from public calendars.

The fact that Google Calendar complicates itself unnecessarily is obvious if you look at how many options are available to add a new calendar: you can add a public calendar, or the calendar of one of your contacts, you can enter the URL or just upload it. And each option has a different place in the interface.

All in all, searching for public calendars is not too important, so it didn't deserve so much focus (it's like a new search engine that returns web sites, not web pages). The option to search for public events should be available even if you don't use Google Calendar, maybe as a OneBox in Google's main search results.





{ via Google Blogoscoped }

125 comments:

  1. I would differ on the subject of searching for calendars to be unimportant -- I'm consistantly on the lookout for specific types of event calendars (say, New York movies) that I can subscribe to.

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  2. This calendar search seems broken. No matter what I put in -- even something as broad as "music", I get exactly 10 calendars that match my search.

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  3. I can't believe it, but Google no longer supports "Search public Calendars". This is a serious bummer.

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  4. I'm just finding out.....why would they drop this? is there a work around?

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  5. Google says:

    "We've decided to discontinue public calendar search and the public calendar gallery. These were specialized U.S. English-only features that weren't used as extensively as we would have liked, and proved difficult to maintain over time. We're looking at ways to make it easier to search and browse public calendars, but for now we've removed the gallery and public calendar search function."

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  6. It's a HUGE bummer that Google has discontinued public calendar search!!!!! I used it for sports teams I follow, local events, etc. It made entering these events into my calendar effortless. Google, bring public calendar search back!!!!

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  7. What should we do if we want to access a public calendar then? For example, I published my calendar so my colleagues who don't have Google calendar to access. How can they access it?

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  8. @Last Anonymous:
    There are many ways to share a public calendar. Click on the small arrow next to the calendar, select "Calendar settings" and you'll find a lot of exporting formats:

    * embed the calendar in a web page
    * send the HTML version of the calendar (blue button)
    * subscribe to the XML version in a feed reader (orange button)
    * use the iCal output to subscribe in an application that supports web calendars (green calendar).

    Read more about sharing your public calendar.

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  9. I too used the public calendars and made many public calenders myself for sporting teams, sporting events, public holidays, school dates etc etc.

    Please bring the search option back!

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  10. Getting rid of the "search public calendar" option removes one of the best features of google calendar...

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  11. I can't believe they got rid of public calendar search...this was one of the best parts! Bring it back!

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  12. PLEASE . . . bring it back. We use it for various school sports ...events....come'on..................................

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  13. Geez, I just now tried to tell a friend how to add auto racing events, and ran into this. Google IS becoming evil = their top priority is pleasing Wall Street.

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  14. What sense does it make to publish a public calendar, if nobody van find it?
    Please Google, give us the search function back!

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  15. Yep.. can't find my sports team calendar anymore. I agree... what is the point of making a calendar public if no one can find it. C'mon google.

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  16. Aw, that's a real shame. I was trying to find a 2009 season F1 schedule to add to my calendar. I'm surprised that Google's been removing features lately.

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  17. Serious bummer. Please bring back the search functionality.

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  18. The public calendars were the main reason I switched to Google Calender, to load up the baseball and football seasons. I am shocked that this was taken away! Why??????

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  19. I really hate it that this search option is gone. It was BY FAR one of the best features of the service. PLEASE RE-ENABLE IT!!!

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  20. Hi,
    Is there another way to add calendars to your own calendar? All of the teachers on my 9th grade team create a calendar this year and after a student reset her Google account we couldn't figure out how to add all of her classes' calendars to her own. Any help would certainly be appreciated! We'd love to have the search feature for public calendars restored.

    Lee Ann Spillane

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  21. NOT being able to search Public Calendars is a bummer. I've been trying sell our schools to use Google Calendars for clubs and sports. This makes things harder. Google, listen to your public!!!

    Chuck

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  22. Wow, that was THE feature of Google Calendars that made them really useful. It's incredibly hard to believe that they'd yank that feature. I'm usually pretty impressed by Google in that they seem to have a pretty good handle on how their users interact with the various services they offer, but they really dropped the ball on this one. I'm trying to come up with a good reason that they'd do this, but I can't even fathom.

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  23. I have to agree with everybody else here - I really bought into Google Calendar _because_of_ the ability to search for group calendars.

    Searching for a group calendar allowed me to find a calendar of events for things that I'm interested in at the moment. If I'm on assignment somewhere, it would be nice to be able to find a calendar for the things I'm interested in.

    I use a local calendar to see what sorts of tech events are going on. Had the search functionality not been there, I likely would never have found that calendar.

    I also use that function to check if a group has a Google calendar. I used to always check to see if a new organization I was joining had an existing group calendar, now I can no longer do that.

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  24. I'm going to add my voice to the rest. Searching Public Calendars was the only region I switch to Google Calendar. I can't believe you got rid of the one feature that differentiated you from the rest.

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  25. Please consider bringing this feature back. Thank you.

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  26. Just discovered that the public calendar feature is gone. This is truly outrageous and makes your product much less desirable!

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  27. I couldn't believe they actually disabled the group calendars until I ran into this post. this was the most useful feature they had.
    What's next? disable the 'add event' button?

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  28. I really liked the public calendar search and am very dissapointed that it is gone . Couldn't find anythin similar on the net ;- (

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  29. Being able to add public calendars was the reason i used google calendar. It was a great feature. I now see no reason to use anything but my outlook calendar
    Bring it back please.

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  30. I just don't believe Google when they say nobody used it. I do believe them when they say it was difficult to maintain. Still, this is the magic we have relied on Google to deliver on, and they have let us down. Here's hoping the feature comes back and is properly promoted.

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  31. Aww... but this is how I know whats going on in the world!!! Seriously google!

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  32. Not sure why you would do this, but I hope you will come up with something that better suits you and meets our needs as well.

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  33. Although you can't search for them, it appears that public calendars still exist.
    A couple of people above were interested in F1. The following calendar exists and appears to be regularly maintained (by an unnamed hero in the UK, I think).
    http://www.google.com/calendar/ical/pvsbb9be3lh5m0rjp9gi4dpcpk%40group.calendar.google.com/public/basic.ics

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  34. WTF!

    I agree with all the prior comments. What on earth were you thinking Mr. Google when you removed the public calendar search? Please bring it back now.

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  35. One more for bringing back public calendar search. If outlook is convertable, then surley there is enough out there (sports, concert events, etc.) to convert to google public calendar to provide to the public.

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  36. bummer is right :(

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  37. add me too... why was this feature scrapped??? please bring it back!

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  38. Ok all the saviour is here. Google has yet to listen to the users. But someone is
    http://googlecal.com/

    If everyone posts any user created PUBLIC calendars on this site, than ANYONE can come in and grab the feed of that calendar and add it to their own.

    Sure it's annoying but it's a work around that is much appreciated.

    As for the school ones mentioned as long as you are the creator it is still quite easy to publicly share the calendars with people you know. As long as you know the link than u can just send them that and tell them to subscribe, the problem is brining in other public calendars which this site goes someway to helping.

    http://googlecal.com/

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  39. Where is the feature??? it's gone!! crazyyyy... bring it back!!! please!

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  40. This is a terrible loss. What are they thinking?

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  41. What are Google thinking to destroy something that worked and where the content so useful to it's users was created by the users themselves ? I mean there's so little overhead for massive useablility. Shame on Google ! What's more no notification either I only noticed because I suspected I'd missed an event.

    Stunned !

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  42. you can at least get the sporting events at http://www.mysportscal.com but the public Google calendars rocked. Bring them back!!

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  43. Incredible. Bring the feature back!

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  44. I need those calendars back! Remarkable.

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  45. Why has google done this? The public calendar search was one of THE best things about it????

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  46. This really sucks.

    It is also very hard to find out what has broken on the interface, i spend a hour trying this and that before finding that Google broke it on purpose.

    Maybe we should start a facebook group for Calender search ?

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  47. Please bring back the ability to search public calendars. It is a useful feature.

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  48. Missing public calendars (sports team schedules) Not as much value anymore with google calendar with this missing.

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  49. If they cannot maintain a separate search index then at least allow the regular googlebot to index "google.com/calendar/ical/" so that calendars will show up in regular google searches.

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  50. As stated above: Public calendar search was THE feature. Hope it will be soon online at least a valid substitute...

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  51. WHY GOOGLE, WHY... Your calender is like every other calender now = SUCKS
    This is the worse thing GOOGLE could ever do to me.
    people start businesses, small organizations, and children sports events, and other things.. like plan my week so I don't miss any of my fav. shows, movies, or local community events.

    I thought the whole point of the web is to connect the world..

    There must be something we can do to Bring it back !!!!!!!

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  52. Gestures like the removal of "Search Public Calendars" will harm Google's entire push toward cloud computing app suites.

    I can't recommend apps whose features disappear without warning.

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  53. This is pure insanity. The strangest part is that my old calendars that i so easily added by just using the search function still work. My college sports teams, four days weather forecasts, TV show schedules, Obama's future speech times, they still function. How do i access them though without a basic search function??????

    Insanity.

    People didn't use gcal much in the first place, you have to give apps time to grow in popularity, and then it will be worth it. I thought you knew that GOOGLE.

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  54. I agree with everyone else here. Bring back public calendar search! If people aren't using it enough, you should promote it more, not kill it.

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  55. This is a significant mistake by google calendar.

    I wish they'd had enough respect to tell their users beforehand. I used this feature for pro baseball schedules and for NYC Parking regulations.

    As of today, google calendar has less value to me and I will be interested in knowing if yahoo or other competitors have this valuable feature. It is not just the stupid decision that was made, its the fact that they didn't tell anyone about it when the decision was made.

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  56. I use public calendars so students can be aware of all the course activities at a major university. I found out that Google had removed this feature because my students complained to me. I wish Google would re-enable searching for them.

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  57. I'm just finding this out :( I am a huge google fan, but this is a BIG bummer. What happen to the company's own philosophy.... http://www.google.com/corporate/tenthings.html

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  58. Is this the first sign of Google starting down the "software arrogant" path? They will probably look back on this decision as the beginning of the end. The reasons given to terminate it are rubbish. And how come there was no notification? Google has taken an enormous dent in my confidence

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  59. While I agree this is a serious bummer and a major functionality loss. You can still search public calendars from Google's main site.

    try:

    weather site:www.google.com/calendar - for weather calendars
    racing site:www.google.com/calendar - for racing calendars
    etc...

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  60. I thought it was broken! Hard to maintain? Compared to what? That was a CORE FEATURE. Well worth a little effort.

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  61. I agree it was a great feature. I miss it. Why does it still have the option to "Add a Public Calendar" when you can only add the holidays calendars? This is a black eye for the Google Calendar product.

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  62. Big company has now made a big mistake..Sort it out

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  63. The Public Search Button/option is completely gone.
    Why in the hell wound anyone go to z Search Engin to find new things??

    Search engines should only work to find things in your own favorites or bookmarks.

    Hell to people who wish ro find the not aready known about.

    (Google is a JaAss and we need the damnn button)

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  64. This really limits the calendar program. It's like letting someone experience the internet, and then only letting them operate in a home network.

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  65. I am very disappointed that the ability has been lost to find new calendars. I used this every season to find the new sports schedules for my favorite teams.

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  66. ???

    I've been trying to find back how to add public calendars for a few weeks now. I had used the feature to add a calendar of my local NHL team but couldn't find the feature lately. "Ahh, that's just silly me, can't remember or found again where this was..." but today I tried harder to no avail. ??? How come I can't find it? Where is it hidden??!? The last time it hadn't been that hard.

    Then I found this.

    Why would they cut this incredible feature??? What was the point?

    I've known Google to continually add useful features to their offerings. Why would they remove this? This was GREAT!

    I'll still use Google Calendar even without this, but I don't get it.

    That was a VERY USEFULL feature.

    Google, if you are listening => We want it back!

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  67. Gooogle, please, please please bring seach public calendars back.

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  68. Public Calendar Search was awesome. Add me to the "I want it back!" list.

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  69. Wow, amazing public outcry over this feature!

    I too love and miss this feature.

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  70. Google! What are you thinking?

    Public Calendars was one of the main reasons I just ditched Outlook for Google Calendar.

    Please bring back public calendar search!

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  71. This is borderline unbelievable. Why would they get rid of the best feature in Google calendar? This is akin to getting rid of the labels feature in GMail. I'm astounded.

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  72. love everything that google has given us for free - understand when they have to pull back on something either too difficult to maintain or problematic - still vote for re-instatement of public calendar search - although, public calendars are still out there everyone, just not a direct listing for ones that google users created

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  73. I loved the public search feature, to find particular calendars with phases of the moon (not the one currently provided by Google), sports calendars, etc. Please find a way to bring this back!

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  74. I agree with everything that others have posted,particularly the lack of notification. I feel a fool as I have been telling people about this great feature..... that now doesn't exist.
    Shame on the people at Google!

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  75. seriously Google - why the hell would you cancel this?

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  76. This is stupid. I will look to another service.

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  77. Bring back the search, please. It's so useful for *quickly* finding sports, school, and performing arts schedules.

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  78. I totally agree -- what sense does it make to create a public calendar, then NOT have it searchable? People log long hours to create these calendars and many others could benefit. Better bring this feature back soon!

    -Dave

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  79. Bring back the public calendars

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  80. I just don't understand how it could take any resources to maintain this. Users post and maintain the calendars and the googlebot indexes the space of calendars automatically. Is there code really so fragile it can't scale?

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  81. To everyone using this forum to plead with Google, you might have better luck actually telling google at http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Calendar?hl=en

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  82. devvie nuis thinks we should spread the word...

    BRING BACK THE CALENDARS! BRING BACK THE CALENDARS!

    I just love adding agenda's for all kinds of things. But if we can't search... Google, I love you but this is BAD :(

    Peace nontheless ; )


    Devvie

    Cuisvis hominis est errare, nullius nisi insipientis in errore persevare
    ------
    All spelling mistakes are my own and may only be distributed under the GNU General Public License! - ((c) 1995-2001 by Coredump; 2002-7 by DevNullius)

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  83. >Anonymous said on April 7, 2009
    >try:
    >
    >weather site:www.google.com/calendar - for weather calendars
    >racing site:www.google.com/calendar - for racing calendars
    >etc...

    Didn't knew this one. Great tip! You can link this with Google alerts, and you will whenever there is a new calendar for your subjects. This is even better - but from now only as a (microsoft-like:>) "hidden" feature : P

    Peace again!

    devnullius

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  84. Search public calendar was only good reason to use Google Calendar. Without the search, I'll go back to my old ways.

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  85. public search was a prime way to subscribe to sporting team calendars. now it's gone. funny. most people struggle to build useful tools. google takes useful tools away.

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  86. Glad I didn't get rid of my Yahoo account then. I only transferred over because Microsoft was buying out Yahoo which didn't happen. Sorry for all the billions you lost Jerry. And Google was surprisingly easy to use. Especially the Calendar function and adding public calendars. But still if Google is going to act like Microsoft what's the point of switching over? Do they still have executive secretaries?
    And Google if you're out there, look at how Yahoo allows you to have more than one email running at a time - very useful me thinks.

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  87. Great blog and great community. Landed here while trying to find out where the public calendar search function had gone. I'd originally been wanting to search for an F1 calendar. And someone on this thread posted a link to one - thanks!!

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  88. I looked like an ass presenting Google Calendars to a client in a board room. I was speechless when I couldn't find the add public calendar link. I had explained how he could his favorite college football schedule to his calendar. Yes please bring this back

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  89. Bring back Google Public Calendars!!!

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  90. Just an index of the available calendars would be useful. I have to add that, given that is what google does, it is rather difficult to believe that this is too difficult.

    I would have to vote, please bring it back!

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  91. bring back Google Public Calendars!

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  92. For anyone after any English football fixtures, or Australian AFL and Australian NRL fixtures, http://www.thismonkey.com/ has a very handy and robust ical generator that you can save and then import to google!

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  93. Well, the inevitable has finally happened with the incredibly short sighted decision, and very patronizing explanation (no one using - yeah sure) to eliminate the public calendar searching, Google has turned into Microsoft.

    BTW: I spent a very frustrating 20 minutes drilling down through every menu and help file looking for the "search public" option before I finally arrived here to find it was gone...perfect Google, the Borg has finally assimilated you. I rarely get as frustrated with managerial incompetence without finding a Microsoft logo at the bottom of my ire.

    I can't believe it was only two days ago I was telling someone to start using Google Calendar because I had thought it had finally become a mature and "connected" technology. Without the network, it is just a slow, idiosyncratic, 1980's calendar application looking for a dustbin.

    Please get your second team bean counting MBA's off this project and give it to some creative and competent pros that will grow it right.

    Thank you.

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  94. not sure if this helps anyone... but i found this site:
    http://blogoscoped.com/archive/2009-02-25-n28.html

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  95. Like the folks above, I got my arse burned in front of my boss when I told him about search the public calendars... I felt like an idiot telling him it's not there any longer and he looked at me "sure...whatever..."

    I suppose it's inevitable that Google will become the next Micro$oft :(

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  96. The removing of public calendar searches is inconceivably stupid. I use and advocate the use of this feature all of the time.

    How are we supposed to find useful and interesting calendars now?

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  97. The public has spoken. We need the public calendar search feature back. C'mon. We'll give you a doggie treat!

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  98. Couldn't figure out why I was having such a hard time locating the public calendars. I used this feature all the time... my problem was, that once it was in, I didn't need to search as much. Now that I wanted to update some stuff it is gone??? This bites!!!

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  99. Football and Hockey season are coming up. I miss getting my favorite teams schedule!!! This really stinks!!!

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  100. Please bring public calendar search back.

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  101. Please bring public calendar search back.

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  102. I thought I was doing something wrong, spent ages trying to get the search to work! I can't beleive this feature has been taken away, shame on Google!

    This has convinced me to stop reccomending google apps for use in any of our internal web apps, at any moment in time a critical feature could be removed!

    This really does question google's credibilty as a reliable third party app provider.

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  103. I Live in South Africa and use my Google Calendar a lot on my Cellphone as well as view a few others from Major events like School Reunions... PLEASE Bring it Back. I'm constantly learning New stuff about Google apps and loving every minute of it. Please don't go all Yahoo or Hot(Cold) on us. Perrrrrdy Ppppllllllleeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaazzzzzzzzz.

    Avid Googler.

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  104. What's the point of publishing a public agenda if the public cannot find it? Hello???

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  105. Having a search engine company running a calendar system that can't be searched... something's just not right. Being able to search for public calendars to add to my own calendar is what sets GCal apart from every other calendar on Earth. The "popular cals" list is completely useless because there's virtually nothing on the list. In a world where niche content development has become the model, overall "popularity" is a completely useless metric. In a world where fanboys and girls help generate content, one cannot depend on the primary content source to link to every single source of information, and the best source of information (such as a public Google calendar published by a fan) may not have enough visibility to show up in a regular search.

    Bring back public calendar search!!!

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  106. I am very disappointed that the public calendar search was taken away, it seems like there were many of us who are huge fans of it and came to rely on it to keep in touch with our community events. If you guys don't want to support it anymore at least give us the old listing in static form somewhere, please? PLEASE PRETTY PLEASE?!?! With a cherry on top?! We promise to give it more love if you put it back!!! We all want to help Google rule the world, but taking away the users toys is not cool. Google, I beg you please give us our toys back?!

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  107. Would still like to see a search available for public calendars. The NCAA schedules are extremely limited and if you're not a top teir school its not there. I would be happy to create and share a calendar for my school's sporting events but if no one can get it, why bother?

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  108. You still have Apples public calendars. Not the same thing. But i got lots of calendars. http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/calendars/

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  109. Incredibly disappointed with Google for removing the public search. Now I have to wade through many websites to see if my local government agencies have public calendars.

    Google, what gives?

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  110. Like everyone else, I'd like the ability to search public calendars back. I can only guess Google had good reason for removing it. Perhaps they were not able to monetize public calendars and will return this feature in a way that is more profitable for them. In general, I prefer a single search box with a simple way of refining the search. For example in Gmail, there are separate buttons for searching gmail versus the web. I'd like to be able to use the same search field for contacts too. Rather than a third search button, why not use radio buttons or a drop down list?

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  111. They seem to have brought them back!!!! in a small way, go to the "Add" function at the bottom left of calendars, then click "Browse interesting calendars" There is the option of creating a new one and managing one.

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  112. Creating a new one and managing one doesn't answer our needs. If there is someone who had already created one and managing an interesting calendar we should be able to subscribe to that as before.

    PLEASE bring back this option. I used this for my kid's school info. before and would like to do the same with his new school. Thanks.

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  113. Google, please listen!! Bring back the public calendars - they were so brilliant and useful. It was a great way to keep in touch with local events and opportunities to be involved in my community.
    Please???

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  114. Please bring the public calendar search feature back pleeeeeeeeeease!!!!!

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  115. public calendar is so useful, give me back!

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  116. PLEAAAASSSEE give us back public calendar search. Millions were using it.

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  117. Has Google given any explanation for why they have removed the search public calendars button?

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  118. found a site to publish your google public calandar - http://www.gootranet.com/

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  119. STILL looking for this feature to return.

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  120. Terrible terrible loss. This is the perfect functionality to graduate into one you've gotten situated with the calendar. Just plain stupid to remove it.

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