Ask Max: Using iCal for timeshare management
Want to build a simple website for the 4 of us boat owners to schedule the thing for the year; two Mac guys and two with the dark side computers. Can iCal work for this? I can get a cheap website thru Yahoo or someone and have never created one but have a talented son. The website would be interactive, ie, one owner could input a scheduling trade request to another, ie, trading his week in August for another's week in September.
iCal is very much a one-way tool. It's designed to be controlled by one computer and then published. If all of you four had Macs and iCal, then you could each publish your personal boat calendar to a .Mac account and then subscribe to the other three calendars from within iCal. Each person would control their own calendar. You could post a request to your calendar for another's persons time and they could accept by deleting their time from their calendar, which you could see.
However, you have PC people, and as usual they are spoiling it for the rest of us. To do exactly what you want to do would take more than a free website account. You would have to run a server of your own. Perhaps a good low-tech solution would be to share a Google calendar. You would have to trust each other not to delete entries, but Google's free calendar can be customized to meet many of your needs.