As Swing dance events have been picking up, I’ve done some major under-the-hood modifications to SwingDance.LA which I hope will be useful to Swing promoters and dancers.
A Better Way to Display Flyers
One thing that has bugged me for a long time is how the flyer feed under the Lindy Calendar on the Home page worked. That used to simply be a blog comment form. The problem is that the entries were paged so that if I set the page to display ten entries, it would display up to ten entries, then on the eleventh, display only one flyer, hiding the rest on a separate page. Of course, no one would ever go to the second page of entries.
To fix that, I made the comments their own custom post type with a user-submitted posts form. All flyers would become WordPress posts. That way, I could always display the last ten flyers submitted, for example.
It then dawned on me that if I just asked for the event date, I could display the events in chronological order of the EVENT date instead of the date the comment was submitted! That was huge because then I could show the next event at the top of the feed, and hide all past events! Much better than before!
Once I had this new post type for event flyers, it then occurred to me that these posts had almost everything I needed to put them on the Lindy Calendar. So, with a few refinements, these flyer posts submissions became actual calendar events!
Of course, I do approve each submission before they go on the calendar, and it requires just a few clicks and maybe modifying the event description a bit, but this is much easier than the old way, where I had to create a whole separate event for each submission.
Another cool thing is that the promoters’ event flyers now appear if you click on their events in the calendar, along with the event descriptions they submitted!
So, promoters and dancers, please upload those event flyers!
Promoters, Promote Your Events for Free
SwingDance.LA is usually the number one result for any Google search related to Swing dancing in Los Angeles (and it usually shows up on the first page of many Swing dance searches in general). So if you want to promote your Swing dance event for FREE, definitely post it on this site! Your flyers will be seen by more dancers with these latest updates.
The Flame Icon 🔥
Since every Event now had its own page, I decided to add a hit counter so everyone could see how many people viewed that page. From there I thought, why not add kind of a “like” button where dancers could signal that they were thinking of going to this event? That became the “I’m Interested” button that you now see on each event post.
I realized that I could use this information to gauge how dancers would show up to a particular event. As a dancer, I was always looking for events with the most dancers!
So, I had the idea of adding a flame icon 🔥 to those events with a lot of post visits and presses of the “I’m Interested” button. By the way, button presses count as five visits, so press the button if you want the flame icon to appear!
I’m still tweaking the exact formula to display the flame.
Upcoming Events on Venues Pages
Having real Events pages means that I can put Event info elsewhere on the site. Now, if you visit a venue page, like the Mayflower Club venue page, you’ll see upcoming events at the Mayflower Club right in the sidebar!
Content and “Quality of Life” Updates
I’ve made a bunch of other updates, including using a better commenting plugin, adding social sharing buttons, better text contrast, better search results pages, and so on. Some of the info was getting seriously out of date so I’ve been updating that as well. Please let me know about any content corrections or updates that are needed in the comments below!
I hope these updates are useful to you. I’ll continue tweaking. Let me know what YOU want to see on this site in the comments below! – Brian