Idea: Entertainment launch-dates calendar

I still find it surprising how it’s not extremely easy to know or get notified when a new video game comes out. It’s the same with books and movies. “Fall 2011”, “Q2 2011”, “2012”… I completely understand why publishers and others can’t give an exact date way up front, but with so much info online surely this can be improved.

At work me and a colleague have started an Entertainment-calendar. We mark down all the cool games and movies we know the launch dates of, so it can be shared and enjoyed and maybe even spark a few spontaneous after-work activities. So far I’m also surprised how hard it is to create a shared calendar in Outlook that several people can admin and have a consistent view (category colors aren’t shared for example). Doesn’t companies that use MS Exchange want to mark out release dates for their products, milestones or even birthdays so all employees can see without hassle?

Anyway, as a little helper I’ve made a small bookmarklet that will grab the release date if you’re looking at a product that has one while surfing Webhallen (a popular store in Stockholm) and format the data into iCalendar-format. But for Outlook to pick it up it has to be saved to a file and downloaded, which means I have to host a dynamic file and if I’m already doing that I can make the bookmarklet a bit more advanced by having it include a .js-file and calling a function – allowing me to update and extend the bookmarklet without people having to update anything manually. I’ll post it if/when it’s done.

VG Releases and others are a nice try but it can be a lot better, which I want to make (my target audience is just Sweden for now). I’ll have Outlook integration in mind, but if the response is big enough I’ll make support for Google Calendar. First is finishing the bookmarklet, then making a small site that spiders the supported websites and creates a big calendar with everything. I think this will be my first Google App Engine and Google Web Toolkit project…

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