A few weeks ago I talked about talent profiles and (beyond just getting one if you don’t have one) how you can make the most out of your annual purchase.

This week I want to talk about The Calendar.

According to Alan Berks (former owner of Playlist) this is one of the most important things about Playlist that people rarely talk about. Here is a collection of almost every show happening in the Twin Cities, and many in Greater MN all at your fingertips. There is SO much information in our calendar and it is an incredibly robust showing of the tons and tons and tons of performing arts happening every single week.

So a few things you should know about the calendar.

 

Filters and such

On the main calendar landing page there are a ton of ways to filter down performances.

These include everything from Audio Description and ASL interpreted to Pay-What-You-Can and Post-Show Party.

Additionally you can filter down by geographic location or by genre.

 

One of my favorite links is under the main Calendar Heading in the navigation menu: This Week.

When you land on this page you have a visual list of every single show performing this week. It is a fast and easy way to find out what show you might want to attend. Also under that navigation menu you can see Playlist Recommends, a highlight of one or two shows we think would be worth your time.

 

Posting shows

Clearly a LOT of you are posting content to our calendar and that is GREAT.

Here are a few reminders, tips, and updates that I want you to know about.

Check to make sure it isn’t already posted

Sometimes multiple people working on a production think “OH! We need to get the show up on Playlist”. And then there duplicate entries. Always a good idea to just search for your show on the site before posting it.

Include as much info as possible

More and more I am promoting the calendar page to audience bases and people outside our industry. I often hear from folks (like my wife’s boss for instance) “we’d love to see more theatre beyond what’s at the Guthrie, but we just don’t know where to find what’s playing”.

WHOA!

What an opportunity.

It is important that you put as much clear information as possible about your show into a calendar listing. Consider including info at the end of the description about parking, nearby eateries, coat check, whatever you think will make the experience easy and enjoyable for someone attending your show.

And of course if you hear someone ask where they can find out what’s playing send them to Playlist.

Adding Cast

You may have noticed a few weeks ago I made a change to the way the site works. In the past you’ve been able to add anyone to your Cast List. That feature is now limited to those with a Talent Profile.

Buckle up as its about to get technical.

When this feature is normally on, and you add someone who doesn’t have a talent profile, the system creates a placeholder profile. These placeholder profiles are essentially ‘shells’ that can be claimed by the individual if and when they choose to get a profile.

However, that doesn’t usually happen. Instead what happens is that people come to the site, create an account, buy a profile from the store, and set it up. And then all of a sudden there are two Damon Runnals profiles out there. Both of these profiles show up in search. But only one of them has my charming smile. The other has no info and a big orange circle where my picture should be.

Beyond there being duplicates that show up in search, when someone tries to add Damon Runnals to the cast of a show there are now also TWO profiles to choose from. Which is which? When you are trying to get that show listed in the calendar it is unclear.

So, all of that being said I have turned off this feature to remove the propagation of duplicates in the system. I am working with our back end developer to come up with a solution that lets you put ALL individuals working on the show, without creating this problem.

In the meantime if you want to list everyone , I would recommend listing anyone who doesn’t have a profile in the body of your description.

 

A query

Part of my work this year is to think about the next five to ten years of Playlist and how improvements can be made to make sure the site is of value to the community.

One idea that has surface would be to offer ticket sales through Playlist. If you are so inclined I’d love to have your thoughts by answering three questions below.

Thanks for sharing your opinion. It helps immensely.