Sister-sites were an idea born from the popularity of our Syndication module. Before we get into the specifics of Sister-sites, let's talk about our Syndication module. Many of you have a small local organization that uses your Event Calendar module feed on their site, through a simple iframe or RSS feed, because their site doesn't have calendaring capabilities. That's a common request within the network and is the reason why the Syndication module exists. While this is a functional solution to this problem for many organizations, some community partners would prefer to keep their branding and other visual elements of their website more consistent than the Syndication module can provide. Sometimes it's not financially feasible for them to do both on their own, or they don't have the staff hours to manage the calendar's content.
This is where Sister-sites, like North Wood and Waters Lynx, comes in. By partnering with St. Croix Splash, we were able to help them build an informational site and their own copy of the St. Croix Splash calendar, completely customized to their brand identity. Also, because North Wood and Waters Lynx serves a much broader geographical area, we were able to add additional categories to the event form for the St. Croix Splash calendar that will only display on the North Wood and Waters Lynx site, due to that content only being relevant to their population.
The technological 'heavy lifting' originally done by St. Croix Splash and their yearly renewal fees, will now be partially mitigated by sharing the fruits of their labor with North Wood and Waters Lynx, and they in turn receive that valuable content without any additional staff time. This is a proven theory. St. Croix Splash accomplished a similar goal with Discover Stillwater, another of their sister-sites, built in 2012.
Sister-sites offer the opportunity to make your calendar more appealing to promoters, and more useful for the community, by centralizing information. This creates a web of information that catches the attention of multiple demographics because each brand and site's audience will be different. Even though the information is the same as that found on another site, the end user will be more receptive to the event information if it's presented by an organization they trust. A promoter is more likely to view the calendar as a powerful promotion tool when they know by entering information into the one calendar, their event submission reaches multiple demographics.