We've all done them. You're hosting a little shindig at home when you've realised you don't have Fred's new phone number and that you'll probably just get Julie's answering machine for the next few days again. What do you do? Facebook it.
Sure the effort of doing so isn't a lot, but how effective are they in actually gaining a successful guest list? In my experience, you could always assume the social network addicts would sign up first, if not immediately, then slowly the numbers creep up until you've got the record player set to Hottest 100 Party Tracks as guests shyly arrive.
Well, anyway, I asked fellow Twitter addicts how they use Facebook events. Next week, I might ask the neighbours, but they'll just look at me strangely and offer a cup of sugar instead.
"I think they are fantastic, except not everyone is on FB. Good marketing ploy of theirs though" - @kirstywrites
Clearly diminishes 20% on average. Due to lack of interaction with the host? Possibly. As Facebook ages, less people are taking their RSVPs on the website seriously.
The main argument many people I speak to have against Facebook is the lack of face-to-face communication. No Twitter respondants actually mentioned this!
Clearly you're unable to post a Facebook event for the same day. A week might suffice depending on the size and nature of your event, also on how active your guests are on the social network which can be quite a lot of assuming. Four weeks or even more for a major celebration or fundraiser is ideal if you have this time frame available.
Then there is the "Maybe" RSVP option. Dreaded by event hosts, loved by attendees:
"I can reply 'maybe' to events & they still show up in my timeline, so I can decide to go closer to the time." - @scarlettjen
@ccake, like @iusebiro and @brentoe, syncs FB events with other calculators and also chooses to have e-mail notifications turned on for when the invitations come in, much like @kissability does.
"I do use Facebook events and I have email notifications turned on for invitations. I find it very useful in my busy schedule!" - @kissability
"Handy for knowing about harder to find things (house show parties, gallery openings) new facebook keeps it more hidden though." - @vivzilla
"[I] check my requests (incl event invites) daily, a bit spammy but still quite useful." - @djackmanson
"Events is my primary use of Facebook- I use it constantly as my social calendar. Find it incredibly useful." - @glittertrash
"I use it all the time, both as an attendee and organiser. Very handy." - @sleepydumpling
"I rely heavily on my Facebook events. I'm very forgetful, so having them display in 'coming up' on my homepage really helps." - @hellyeahkate
Having only a Facebook event for an invitation, do people trust these or seek verbal confirmation of the event? @brentoe doesn't seem to think so, but @erikveland has other ideas:
"I rely on it to track my events. Unfortunately event spam has made them useless as a source to send out REAL invitations...Because of event spam, most people will just ignore invitations altogether unless you specifically bring attention to them." - @erikveland
"I use them and so do nearly all of my friends. Event isn't "official" until it's on FB" - @brentoe
Suggestions for Facebook
Option to lose the 'Maybe' RSVP. That would be my main suggestion. What do you think?
"The "no chance" ones can be annoying. It's OK to be invited once, but multiple times?! We need "never invite me" op" - @divabat
"If FB used microformats for events it would be a great improvement. Otherwise I rarely check events" - @zuzu
I'm having a house party next weekend, which I'm very excited about, and the Facebook event went up a week or so ago. Let's see how many make it, but in the meantime, what are your views on Facebook events usage?